Herr Doktor Çelik, we talk regularly about your work as a senior physician in the isolation ward for Covid-19 patients at the Darmstadt Clinic. What is the current situation?
The number of patients has leveled off at a very high level. Our three normal Corona wards are almost always full, we have been on the threshold of having to open a fourth ward for three weeks. Fortunately, this has not been necessary until now because we have been able to move and discharge enough patients. The coming and going are currently balanced. After the state of Hesse stipulated that all hospitals must have a minimum number of beds for Covid patients, many other houses around us have taken in more Covid patients. That temporarily relieved us over the holidays. Now this week we are at around 90 percent in terms of the occupancy of the normal stations. The intensive care unit is almost always full.
So the tightened hygiene measures shortly before Christmas have at least stabilized the situation?
Definitely, a stabilization is noticeable. The time when there were more new admissions from day to day stopped earlier this week. But the number of inpatients has not really fallen yet. After all, the seven-day incidence is falling in Darmstadt, but it is still unclear whether this corresponds to reality because of the delay in reporting on the holidays. We won’t see until next week if the holidays have set us back. On average, it takes eight to ten days from the onset of symptoms to the start of treatment in the hospital. This week patients came who had the first symptoms at Christmas. Anyone who got infected at Christmas would still come.
How was Christmas time in the hospital?
There are not three shifts on public holidays, just two. You are there for twelve hours each day and night. But we know how to spend holidays in the hospital, that’s nothing new. What was very nice: a lot of people thought of us. They stopped by and brought us food, sweets and cakes through the hospital gate. These are small gestures that touched us. The holidays were exhausting, but you noticed that we were needed, we were doing important work. So it could be borne well.
You were in the hospital on Christmas Eve and then at home alone?
Have you already vaccinated staff?
The first 750 cans were inoculated. I am pleased that the particularly exposed people receive vaccination protection very quickly. Hopefully this will soon also help with the personnel problems. One of the greatest challenges in the current situation is that staff are repeatedly absent due to illness or quarantine. We can only plan at very short notice and have to be flexible. It would be a great relief to know that your colleagues are protected from infection and that you don’t have to reckon with having to step in every rare weekend off. However, we are maintaining the high safety standards, with the Biontech vaccination you are not sure yet whether you can infect other people afterwards.
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Covid doctor hospital staff trench mentality