July 1, 2021 — For New Yorkers, March 11 to Could 2, 2020, was most undoubtedly 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 town’s important staff, together with these on the entrance strains at Mount Sinai Hospital.

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

To learn how 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 programs, by way of 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 linked with colleagues in Italy, and the messages of desperation began coming via throughout that point. It was very horrifying. They defined that this isn’t only a respiratory virus and that it overwhelms hospitals and employees. They advised me to attempt to be prepared.

WebMD: The movie actually delves into the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) your staff remains to be feeling. How a lot are you specializing in this right this moment?

Reich: We’re blessed to have Dr. Dennis Charney because the dean of the Icahn Faculty 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 not too long ago 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 might be contaminated or deliver the an infection residence. 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 for the time being 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 while you lose a beloved one. To step in at that second was one thing that modified all of us ceaselessly.