SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – Dr. Christian Sandrock, a professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at UC Davis Health, is also a front-line worker treating COVID-19 patients in the hospital.
“I will say on the inside, we are still worried about things that we were worried about in March,” Sandrock told FOX40. “So, many of us on the inside, we’re just, we’re tired. It’s been a lot of long hours.”
He said his fellow doctors and their families give a lot of support to one another, as the stress of the job takes a toll.
“A lot of exhaustion both physically and mentally. And I really can’t underestimate the mental side of it, ” Sandrock said.
He said it’s gratifying seeing patients recover from COVID-19 and get to go home. But the road to recovery is often very long.
“Some of our patients are relearning to breathe, walk again, regain strength. They have to regain a lot of their facilities,” Sandrock explained.
While elderly patients and those with pre-existing conditions are usually the hardest hit, Dr. Sandrock has witnessed young, otherwise healthy people suffer terribly from COVID-19.
“But we’ve had really young people not do well and that part is also really traumatic on all of us,” Sandrock said.
Dr. Sandrock said most of the cases he was seeing back in March could be connected to large gatherings.
But these days he’s noticing a new trend.
“Now they’ve actually spread where we see cases associated with just couples getting together,” Sandrock told FOX40. “Maybe two couples that are kind of part of a pod or a small family get-together of six or eight people.”
In some cases, public health contact tracers are unable to locate an obvious source of infection.
“And when we start seeing that, that’s a sign of two things. One, the rates are rising enough where it’s spreading more through the general population. It’s not just big events. And number two, that sort of belies a lot of the pandemic fatigue we see,” Sandrock explained.
“You think, ‘Well, I haven’t seen my friend in seven months’ or ‘I haven’t seen my mother in this amount of time, I’ll just say hi to her,'” he continued. “And those little slips now matter when the rates are higher. They didn’t matter as much maybe in March.”
He said symptoms usually don’t present until five days after infection. But he reminds people they can be very contagious for a few days before noticing anything is wrong.
Front-line workers like Dr. Sandrock are uneasy about the approaching holidays.
“It’s unknown and I think we’re all kind of worried about that,” he told FOX40.
He urges everyone to be extra careful, wear masks and limit exposure to others outside of their households.
“That’s just hard to do but that’s sort of what we need to do, right? It’s the difficult portion of where we live and how we live now, and that’s just difficult for everyone worldwide,” Sandrock said.