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What it means to be a doctor during the reign of COVID-19

Dr. Adeeb, a consultant physician at the Yenepoya Speciality Hospital in Mangalore explains in detail the do’s and don’ts of adjusting to this ‘new normal’

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Life as a doctor has always been challenging as the profession requires one to be responsible for people’s lives. This is a huge responsibility. However, life as a doctor is all the more challenging when there is a pandemic out on the streets untamed and infecting millions of people. Matters such as these that affect the entire world, place great pressure on the shoulders of health professionals as they have to do everything in their power to curb its growth. Dr. Adeeb told Mangalore Meri Jaan about how things were difficult particularly in the initial stages as this was an unprecedented and mysterious disease. He talked about how health professionals like him had to learn about it from scratch in order to understand its true nature. Moreover, a doctor’s primary duty is to help the patient and their family understand the disease that they are suffering from. However explaining something as unfamiliar as this, had proven to be a challenge. It is also the doctor’s duty to understand the mindset of the patient even before they themselves do and thereby provide help in accepting the disease that has infected them. He also noted that being affected by a particular disease can also lead to various psychological disturbances in the person. All these factors have to be taken into account when treatment is administered for a patient. Thus treating a patient does not merely end with diagnosing and prescribing medications.

One of the most important questions to be answered today is what plan of action must one follow if and when affected by COVID-19. The answer to that is simpler than one might assume it to be.  Firstly, Dr. Adeeb says, it is important to note that every virus is self-limiting which is to say that it will run its course for approximately seven days and then leave your body. Therefore one need not panic. Of course for people with hypertension and diabetes this is not the case.  If the viral flu doesn’t subside within at least seven days, then one should definitely get tested to see whether or not he/she/they is/are suffering from COVID. If the test results come out as positive, but you show no symptoms it would be best to stay at home and follow instructions given by your doctor while implementing self quarantine. 

Nevertheless, people need to understand that it is the virus that has to be exiled from the world and not the people affected by it. There will always be a tendency to isolate people who are affected from society completely, sometimes even after they have been cured. It is wrong to treat such people as outsiders or to see them as a threat. The transfer rate of the disease is not that high given one takes all the necessary precautions. If the transfer rate was that deadly, then Dr. Adeeb says, the first ones to be affected would have been all the doctors and health care workers who are working on the frontlines. Thus there is no need for unnecessary panicking as every disease has its own limitations. 

He concluded his talk by urging people to welcome the year 2021 with joy and to hopefully leave the pandemic in 2020. 

We shall overcome.    

Dr Adeeb
Dr Adeeb

Consultant Physician
Yenepoya Speciality Hospital Mangalore

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