Southwest Florida ER doctor talks about critical week ahead, response to coronavirus

Monday marks the start of a critical week in the response to lessen the spread of the coronavirus. Top health officials say it’s going to be one of the hardest times our country has ever faced, with more than 10,000 people dead already and more expected to die in the coming days.

We spoke to an emergency room doctor at Gulf Coast Medical Center in south Fort Myers about the current response and his experience with everyone at the hospital responding to COVID-19 patients.

Dr. Larry Hobbs at Gulf Coast Medical Center is aware President Donald Trump predicts this week will bring many deaths. And the surgeon general called this our new 9/11.

“I’m definitely determined to get through this work week,” Hobbs told WINK News. “But that doesn’t mean I’m not afraid. I’m afraid for my colleagues; I’m afraid for our team members, the nurse’s staff. Because we know that this disease not only attacks the old and infirmed, or those who have low immunities. It’s attacking everyone.”

On top of the dire predictions, Dr. Anthony Fauci with the president’s Coronavirus Task Force believes that 25% to possibly as much as 50% of people who have COVID-19 are asymptomatic.

“It’s dangerous because the disease is so highly communicable,” Hobbs said. “And the problem is that those who have the disease and don’t know they have it can spread it.”

That’s why Hobbs wants everyone watching to shelter in place unless absolutely necessary.

“I think it’s important to know that we all agree with this because it’s all we have right now,” Hobbs said. “We don’t have a known cure. We don’t have a vaccine in place. So, obviously, quarantine or stay home is the best way to control the number of cases that develop.”

Reporter:Nicole Gabe
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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