Medical professionals who have been on the front lines of COVID-19 at BIDMC and other local hospitals, including Barbara S. Lee (Social Work, BIDMC) and Pamela N. Peck (Psychiatry, BIDMC), shared how their emotional well-being has been impacted over the past 14 months while they put their lives on the line to save others. The hospitals have bolstered and implemented programs to support their staff, drawing on the expertise of Harvard’s faculty specializing in mental health, and created new wellness resources.
According to CDC data released on Sunday, about 5 million Americans missed receiving their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC) noted it’s unclear exactly what's leading to so many missed second appointments for COVID-19 vaccines but that it's likely that getting a second shot, even at a later point in time, is still very beneficial.
Christina Yen, MD (Medicine, BIDMC) shared that an N95 can be reused anywhere from 20 to 25 times and still keep SARS-CoV-2 at bay.
Preeti Mehrotra, MD (Infection Control, BIDMC) spoke about the potential changes to CDC guidelines regarding mask requirements outdoors.
People who delayed medical and dental care as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are returning to doctors’ offices, sometimes with exacerbated symptoms and conditions due to the delay in treatment, according to doctors. A study from BIDMC found that new cancer diagnoses had gone down during the pandemic because patients weren’t coming in for treatment, which implies that patients might come in later with later-stage cancers.
The digital mental health space was growing rapidly even before the COVID-19 pandemic but stress and anxiety brought on by the health crisis have accelerated demand for virtual behavioral health services. John Torous, MD (Psychiatry, BIDMC) explained the benefits of increased digital mental health care access.
A group of Boston Red Sox players received the first vaccination against COVID-19 on Monday from BIDMC staff at Fenway Park.
As Massachusetts hospitals settle into a new normal, they’ve shifted from managing a raging crisis to incorporating COVID-19 into their daily work. Kevin Tabb, MD (CEO, BILH) commented that the profile of the typical COVID-19 patient has changed, noting that seniors no longer make up the majority of people hospitalized with the disease. Patients now tend to be younger, in their 30s, 40s, and 50s.
Massachusetts epidemiology and infectious disease experts suggested newer variants may be more transmissible and could be better able to resist COVID-19 immunity from the vaccines or a natural infection. Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC) noted many of these variants show enhanced transmission and, in some studies, enhanced disease, during his remarks at a at a state legislative hearing on Tuesday.