Dr. Steve Kasspidis, of Mount Sinai Queens in Astoria, told Sky News that the daily routine of treating infected patients has become increasingly grim.
“People come in, they get intubated, they die, the cycle repeats,” he said. “The system is overwhelmed all over the place.”
“9/11 was nothing compared to this,” he added.”We were open waiting for patients to come who never came, OK? Now they just keep coming.”
A 55-year-old lab tech at Mount Sinai West in Manhattan, who declined to give her name, said “everyone is scared” — also compared the pandemic to the 2001 terrorist attacks.
“It’s human nature to be scared with something this evil going around,” she told the Post. “I started my career during the AIDS epidemic and this is much worse. It’s same feeling we had after 9/11, that same silence in the streets. It’s like the city that suffered from insomnia finally fell asleep.”
“People are scared and they have a right to be,” she added. “The virus is living everywhere. Someone spits on the sidewalk, it stays there, it gets on your shoe, it stays there. 24 hours, sometimes 72 hours. We are all going to get it, just in different ways. There’s no escaping this, not in New York.”
In a daily update written by Craig R. Smith, the chair of the Columbia University Department of Surgery, he emphasized the gravity of the situation.
“Today the steady drumbeat of new cases continues, and it remains possible that our system will be overwhelmed,” he wrote. “In sum, the accelerating pace of this contagion so overwhelms me that I risk becoming the Jaws of doomsurfing. But this is a day I’m most overwhelmed by the explosion of energy and creatively being applied to the battle.”
Two nurses at Elmhurst Hospital only responded, “not good, not good,” when asked how they were doing.
“We are trying,” said a doctor who stepped outside with a colleague to pick up trays of donated food. “We are trying.”