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Inside the hospital: A doctor's perspective of COVID-19

In the last year, Dr. Kishor Gangani spent more time at the hospital than at home. He describes the physical and mental toll the virus has on health care workers.

ARLINGTON, Texas — From the outside, Dr. Kishor Gangani realizes it can be hard for people to understand the severity of COVID-19. It's something he sees at the hospital nearly every day.

He provides acute inpatient care, meaning he takes care of patients from the time they enter the emergency room to the time of discharge, or even death. Gangani is a doctor with Apogee Physicians, and works at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital.

"I have more COVID patients than I see non-COVID patients," he said. "You do whatever you can, and still you feel like you are helpless."

For the past year, he's spent more time at the hospital than at home with his wife and 7-month-old child. "I feel guilty. I feel like I should spend more time at home. And instead, I'm here." 

He knows one day his son will understand what it meant to be a doctor during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Gangani said it's emotional inside the hospital. "You see patients talking. The next day, you see them on the ventilator."

He said it hurts every time he has to update a family that their loved one took a turn for the worse. "When you are breaking the news to the spouse that your husband is on a ventilator, or your husband did not make it, I cannot think of anything more sad or emotional than that."

He's seen hospital beds fill up with COVID-19 patients. He's seen nurses and doctors get infected. He's seen people of all ages die from the virus. And in the rare times he leaves the hospital, he is frustrated when he sees people careless or disregarding COVID-19.

"This is a serious disease, and it does not have a definitive cure, and that is why we have to be even more careful," Gangani said.

He shares his perspective hoping people will understand the emotional and physical exhaustion health care workers are facing during the pandemic.

Credit: Dr. Kishor Gangani