Dallas County

‘It's Wearing on Us': COVID-19 Pandemic Takes Toll on Front-Line Health Care Workers

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Dallas County has seen a spike in new COVID-19 cases and that often translates to fatigue and burnout among health care workers on the front lines.

Dr. Mark Casanova, president of the Dallas County Medical Society, walked the halls of a COVID unit just 24 hours ago. He said he and his colleagues are giving it all they have, but it’s taking a toll.

“A combination of fatigue, frustration,” Casanova said. “Frankly, it’s wearing on us.”

He’s a palliative care physician and a member of the Texas Medical Association COVID-19 task force.

“This is as real as it gets. I don’t know another way to point it out,” he said. “Everything that we’ve seen in the graphs is what we’re seeing real life in the halls of our hospitals.”

Texas has more than 230,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases. In Dallas County, more than 30,000 confirmed cases.

Coronavirus Cases in Texas

Locations on the map are approximate county locations and are not intended to identify where any infected people live.

Case data was pulled from a variety of sources including county health departments and the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Jon Roth, CEO of the Dallas County Medical Society, said the organization was doing what it could to support frontline workers. That includes having supplied more than $1.5 million worth of PPE for doctors. He said the public should keep medical professionals in mind when making decisions about social behaviors.

“Understand that there’s an upstream impact to that,” Roth said. “That there’s a physician that’s going to have to take care of that patient because they weren’t doing things like washing their hands, or they were around somebody who wasn’t wearing a mask.”

Casanova said he and his colleagues are more dedicated than ever. But he’s pleading with the public to lend a hand.

“We would love a little help,” he said. “I’m not going to lie. We would take it in a heartbeat. If you would just wear a mask like its newfound religion when you’re out and about.”

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