July 1, 2021 — For New Yorkers, March 11 to Could 2, 2020, was most positively the worst time of the pandemic.

Practically 19,000 individuals died of COVID-19 in New York Metropolis throughout these weeks, which interprets to over 350 deaths per day and a couple of dying each 5 minutes. Nobody skilled the chaotic early days of the pandemic greater than the town’s important employees, together with these on the entrance strains at Mount Sinai Hospital.

And, in The Surge at Mount Sinai, a documentary streaming on discovery+ at this time, you’ll be transported into the hospital’s intensive care models and meet a number of sufferers hospitalized early on, in addition to the heroic Mount Sinai ICU medical doctors, nurses, and help employees.

To learn the way his employees is doing and what he thought concerning the movie, we interviewed David L. Reich, MD, president of Mount Sinai, one of many nation’s largest and most overwhelmed well being care techniques, through Zoom. Learn on for his ideas on COVID-19, the documentary, and what worries him most proper now.

WebMD: When do you know we have been in bother with this virus?

Reich: Late February. I’m lucky to be related with colleagues in Italy, and the messages of desperation began coming by throughout that point. It was very scary. They defined that this isn’t only a respiratory virus and that it overwhelms hospitals and employees. They instructed me to attempt to be prepared.

WebMD: The movie actually delves into the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) your group continues to be feeling. How a lot are you specializing in this at this time?

Reich: We’re blessed to have Dr. Dennis Charney because the dean of the Icahn College of Drugs at Mount Sinai. He’s an knowledgeable in resilience, and he jumped on this as a result of these points are foremost on our minds. We lately created the Center for Stress, Resilience, and Personal Growth to assist our employees get better. This virus was like a battle, and we all know from PTSD associated to wartime that PTSD has phases and might final a very long time. The toughest issues for our employees was the worry that they’d be contaminated or carry the an infection dwelling. Then there was the truth that, with this virus, our sufferers have been dying alone with out members of the family current. The employees stepped in, doing FaceTime with members of the family who have been saying goodbye. Our chaplains couldn’t be within the hospital so, if the households requested it, the employees, particularly our nurses, mentioned prayers in the meanwhile of dying. We have been a surrogate for these households who couldn’t be there on the most critically emotional second in life, which is whenever you lose a liked one. To step in at that second was one thing that modified all of us perpetually.