STERNBERG: Tragedy Proves COVID No Hoax

LIFE IN THE TIME OF COVID-19

Tragedy Proves

COVID No Hoax

Sternberg
Richard Sternberg, a retired Bassett Hospital orthopedic surgeon, has agreed to provide his professional perspective while the coronavirus threat continues. Dr. Sternberg, who is also a village trustee, resides in Cooperstown.

I graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine in 1978.

Adeline Fagan graduated from the SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine in 2019. She started a residency program in obstetrics and gynecology in Houston. She died from COVID-19 Saturday, Sept. 19, age 28.

She most likely became infected working a shift in her hospital’s
emergency room in the late spring.

From what I’ve read, Adeline was lovely young woman. Since childhood she knew she wanted to be a doctor. The second of four sisters she had matched to a training program in Houston in 2019. She was a delightful caring person.

According to her sister whom she lived with, she always went to work with a smile on her face even if she had a 12- to 16-hour work shift ahead of her. She volunteered and served on three medical missions to Haiti before completing medical school. She played lacrosse. She was a good sister, daughter, and friend.

She was one of over 1,100 healthcare workers who died from COVID-19 in the United States.

Adeline became symptomatic in the first week of July. She was hospitalized on July 14. In early August she was placed on an ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine. This is similar to a heart-lung machine which pumps blood out of the body where it is then oxygenated allowing the heart and lungs to rest. In her case her lungs were not adequately functioning to get oxygen to her body.

She fought courageously for two months. Much longer than most people last but eventually effects of COVID-19 and complications of the ECMO overtook her and she died. She was unable to say goodbye.

I repeat, she was 28 years old. I repeat, over 1,100 healthcare workers have died from COVID-19 in the United States.

“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.” Actually, I haven’t really taken it well so far.

People who claim COVID-19 is a fraud, a conspiracy, not really dangerous, and refuse to protect themselves or their families, other people, and me: Please have the integrity to be consistent and not ask for care when you and yours get sick.

Get to the back of the line when vaccines are being given out, (but ultimately get the vaccine to protect
the rest of us).

Taking care of you puts all healthcare workers and first responders at risk.

Now that you realize it is real, just crawl into bed, isolate yourself and your family, avoid direct contact with anyone not fully protected, cross your fingers, and pray.

Healthcare workers are already burned out, just like pretty much everybody else but even more so. They really don’t want to take care of people who had no respect for them.

To all the clowns at SUNY Oneonta who flagrantly defied social distancing and mask rules, you need to carefully read about the life and death of Adeline Fagan. Shame on you. Adeline was your contemporary.

For those still able to read about her, you are very lucky not to have contracted COVID-19 or if positive, get sick or die from it.

To those of you who assumed that students would behave responsibly and let that be your plan, shame on you.

To those so inclined, please join me in contributing to the GoFundMe page set up by Adeline’s sister. The money collected will help to pay their expenses that have accrued, loss of income of her family over the past three months, and funeral expenses.

Go to gofundme.com, hit search (the magnifying glass), and enter Adeline Fagan’s name.


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