Science and medicine, as we know, are the weapons we have to fight the Covid-19 epidemic. But the strength of this virus lies not only in the physical damage it causes to people, but also in the fear it generates, both in people affected by the disease and in healthcare personnel.
The battle against the virus cannot be won if we do not fight and respect the idea of ​​fear, which is the “intangible” part of the epidemic, but no less dangerous.
The issue of fear in relation to Covid-19 is well explained through the experience of Shira Doron (infectious disease physician and hospital epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center in Boston).
One of the frequent concerns facing many doctors is to keep both patients with the disease and the health care staff safe.
We underestimate, when we rightly seek scientific and clear answers to this type of problem, to the terror and panic that grips people, starting with those who are in charge of saving lives. Shira Doron, explains how difficult it was to face the pandemic, the bad news that came first from China and then from Italy, the initial lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), the constant feeling of never feeling really safe despite the use of adequate procedures and how much emotional support and adequate information were fundamental weapons, above all by investigating and knowing the fears that afflicted people.
According to Shira Doron, fear cannot be ignored but investigated and respected to face it in the best possible way, in order to build a fundamental emotional support to fight it.
If you want to know Shira Doron’s story, we recommend reading her beautiful article on STAT.