November 24, 2020

This is just so, so sad. New Day had Dr. Shirlee Xie on to talk about what it's like during the covid spike at the Hennepin County Medical Center.

"I think in one word it's -- it's heartbreaking," she said to John Berman.

"The last time I was on service, I took care of five patients who had covid and one of those patients recovered and was able to discharge from the hospital after about a week. I sent two patients home on hospice, one went to a nursing home and he will be in a mandatory 14-day quarantine there and I don't know if he's going to live past quarantine. The other patient I discharged on hospice was 41 years old and she was terrified of dying alone, and the other two patients I had were a married couple in their 80s and I admitted the wife the day before I admitted her husband to the hospital and that was the first time they had been separated in 62 years," she said.

"We were able to put them in a room together, just so they could be together, which, you know, typically these patients with covid are isolated in the hospital and they're alone, they don't have visitors and they're scared. I'm sorry. You know, the chances that a couple in their 80s are both going to go home after being admitted are low because the chances that they will survive are not good. The wife got sicker and sicker and she died in the hospital and her husband had to watch her die and so he had to see that fear and that grief and I don't think it's -- I don't think you can describe how that feels to us as their caretakers to have to see that kind of suffering from patients.

"You know, that was me in one day at the hospital. This is all of my colleagues are experiencing this at every hospital across Minnesota and I think it's just really hard to comprehend that weight."

"Dr. Xie, we are so sorry and obviously we all can see how the toll it's taking on you and I think it's the feeling that people are dying alone that's so heartbreaking," Alysin Camerota said.

"I know when you talk to people who are coming in and you ask them where they got it or how they got it or if they know how they got it, what are they telling you?"

She explained that her medical center is a safety net hospital. "These are not the patients that are getting covid because they're going to bars and restaurants and parties, you know, these are people that are trying to stay safe, but they're getting exposed because they're interacting with somebody that has covid. So we're seeing a lot of essential workers that can't stay at home. We see a lot of families that have housing insecurity so they have no homes to go to. We see nursing home patients who are already suffering because they are not allowed to have visitors and they've been isolated for months now, but somehow they're getting exposed. We're seeing health care workers, you know, we're taking care of colleagues who we see in the halls every day and people we work with that we are now having to take care of patients, and we see entire families who can't isolate from each other that are -- that are getting sick.

"I took care of a woman who, you know, after over a month in the ICU was recovering from covid and that should be a win, but we were trying to call her family every day to give them an update and we couldn't get ahold of anyone and then one day we found out it's because her husband had died of covid and her daughter had died of covid, all while she was in the hospital.

"So how do you tell somebody that? How do you tell somebody that their family has died?" she said, wiping her eyes.

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.