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Indiana doctors issue COVID plea to Hoosiers

INDIANAPOLIS (Network Indiana): Indiana doctors have written an open letter to Hoosiers that talks about the hardships of the coronavirus pandemic.

The letter begins: “Our hospitals are full. Our staff is overwhelmed. We are exhausted.”

It goes on to ask Hoosiers to do four things: Avoid gatherings, wear a mask when you’re with anyone you don’t live with, advocate for state and federal support for people suffering from the effects of the virus, and get the vaccine.

Letter organizer Dr. Gabriel Bosslet tells WISH-TV in Indianapolis that hospitals are a lonely place for patients right now.

“It’s sad. I mean, there are no family members in the hospitals. The hospitals are full of patients. They have a lot of physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, environmental services people that are working very hard to care for people. And we do it without having family members there and it’s a lonely place for patients right now, I can say that,” Bosslet said.

Bosslet told WISH-TV he wanted the letter to come directly from doctors, not from health care networks or hospitals. He said that as of Tuesday, the feedback has been positive so far.

The entire letter reads as follows:

“Fellow Hoosiers:

Our hospitals are full. Our staff is overwhelmed. We are exhausted. Each day, we set a new record for hospital admissions, intensive care unit census, patients held in the Emergency Department waiting for beds…and deaths due to COVID-19. We’ve seen nursing facilities almost eliminate the virus this summer, only to have it flood back in from the community this fall.

COVID-19 is currently the number one cause of death for adults in the State of Indiana, more than heart disease, cancer, and lung disease, the usual top three causes of death. These are our neighbors, friends, family, and even our colleagues. This is absolutely heartbreaking.

All services are being impacted- from basic care for heart attacks to advanced care for traumatic injuries and cancer. The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened substance use disorders, suicide risk, and other mental health conditions. Access to these services is already limited in many places. More help is needed.

We ask for your help in four crucial ways:

  1. Avoid gatherings as much as possible. This includes gatherings in homes, bars, restaurants, weddings, and funerals. Even small gatherings are risky. The virus spreads easily indoors. Our holidays this year must be different than our past (and future) holidays. This is a painful but crucial sacrifice we must make to protect our loved ones.
  1. Wear a mask when you are with anyone you do not live with, especially when indoors. Masks slow the spread of the virus. We look forward to the day we can put our masks away, but that day is not today.
  1. Advocate for state and federal support for those suffering from the pandemic’s economic and social effects. Many individuals and businesses are hurting because of the virus. Call on leaders to support businesses, their employees, and those who have suffered unemployment or pay cuts during the pandemic.
  1. Get the vaccine when it becomes available. The COVID vaccines under consideration have been rigorously tested. We will take the vaccine for our own protection and will work to get the vaccine to all Hoosiers as quickly as possible, especially those who need it the most. Vaccines have been a key part of infection prevention for more than 200 years.

The vaccine will not be widely available for at least several months. For now, avoid gatherings, wear masks, and advocate for ways to support people and businesses. All of us working together will make the difference.

We care for you, Indiana.  

Signed,

Healthcare workers, friends, and families of Indiana”

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