I am an emergency medicine doctor and Iraq war veteran in New York City on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. Each day, I enter a war zone, risking my life to provide the best patient care and save as many lives as possible. This pandemic is real. This pandemic is spreading. And I owe it to my country to share the truth. Corpsman Up!
5/19/2020 – Thank you for the support everyone! COVID cases have decreased since the 12 week quarantine here in NYC, so there is not much to write about. I’m shifting gears and will focus on highlighting the #CovidDeaths. Will also be moving to Arizona following residency, so the journey will continue there!
I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.
March 21, 2020
All of us have families that are very concerned about our exposure and we all want to get home safe and through this. In reality, we know that it is a matter of time before we are all infected, but hope that there is not a cumulative effect of the virus due to being exposed to it 12 hours a day, as almost everyone is infected.
March 22, 2020
6,211 cases in NYC – High Volume, High Acuity
I’ve never seen so many people with pneumonias with rapid progressions. I try to discharge the younger patients with pneumonias, but when I walked them and check vital signs, their oxygen drops down to 85% and heartrate increases to the 140s. They are so fragile.
March 23, 2020
In New York City, the coronavirus continues to infect citizens at an alarming rate and we are seeing more and more patients in their 20s and 30s with multifocal pneumonias unable to walk 10 steps without becoming short of breath.
March 26, 2020
Many of my friends and colleagues know that I have stutter and shy away from public speaking, but this crisis is so severe that I put aside my own fears of stuttering to let you know what’s happening here on the frontlines in New York City! This is a day in my life as an emergency medicine physician trying to save lives in the coronavirus pandemic!
March 27, 2020
Even our own colleagues are dying, such as 48 year-old Mount Sinai West emergency room nurse Kious Kelly. Across NYC, resident physicians are fearful, because attendings from all services have been admitted to the ICUs. Every time, we see each other in the hospital they ask, “How is it in the ED?”
March 28, 2020
Although I am not on the front lines today or tomorrow, I am in contact with my fellow residents. The high acuity remains the same. Young people continue to present in respiratory distress. More and more patients are being placed on comfort care.
March 29, 2020
Given the depletion of our emergency medicine residents, the hospital has deployed residents to the emergency room from other services such as neurology, urology, orthopedics, and physical medicine and rehabilitation. In addition, the hospital has also supplied nurse practitioners and physician assistants. It truly is, all hands-on deck!
March 30, 2020
I watched an 80-year-old patient die today who was on comfort care. It was so peaceful. I checked on him periodically throughout my shift. His eyes were closed as he slept in the fetal position, his breathing slower each hour I checked the monitor. “Doc I think the patient in room _ is dead,” said his nurse, “Do you want to pronounce him?”
April 6, 2020
I was really impressed with the COVID-19 interview between Stephen Curry and Dr. Fauci, so when I had the opportunity to talk with Brooklyn Net’s Garrett Temple, I jumped at it. NBA players using their platform to raise awareness about the coronavirus is saving lives!
April 7, 2020
For three weeks on the ventilator she fought her hardest against acute respiratory distress syndrome. The innumerable deaths over the past weeks have taken an emotional toll on all of us. As a residency, losing this energetic passionate loving emergency room doctor to the coronavirus would crush us!
April 8, 2020
In these past few days, I’ve grown to appreciate the conversations I’ve had with patients nearing the end of their life. Though their family members were not able to be at their bedside, I was able to make their last moments on this earth as comfortable as possible. Whether that meant getting them an extra blanket and tucking them in, as their children would, or holding my personal cell phone up to their ear so that their loved one could talk to them.
April 11, 2020
Not really much to report from the frontlines, since I’ve been off for a few days. I was supposed to work on Monday, but I was given another day off. We have extra staff in the ED, since other specialties have been redeployed to the emergency department.
April 12, 2020
I’ve always compensated for stuttering by improving other areas of communication such as written, visual and nonverbal…I spent hours a day on writing exercises and perfecting my handwriting, so that no one ever misinterpreted my writing, like they did my speech.
April 14, 2020
Cleavon Gilman, M.D., is an Iraq-war veteran and an Emergency Medicine physician in New York City, where he worked through the shocking rise and deadly peak of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Those two experiences—warfare and pandemic—share striking similarities. This is his survival guide, told, in part, through his own words.
April 16, 2020
His neurological exam mentioned that he had left sided neglect from hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, meaning that he had brain injury from not having enough oxygen to his brain. This is usually seen in patients who have strokes or cardiac arrest.
April 19, 2020
How do you know it was the coronavirus? DID YOU TEST HIM?
I tested him, but it takes 6-8 hours to get results. But I don’t need a test to tell me that your father died from the coronavirus, because people don’t just drop dead.
April 24, 2020
Yesterday was a slow shift with low volume; however I talked to one of my paramedic friends and he pronounced three people dead in their homes from cardiac arrest due to the coronavirus. I’m devastated that we’re not getting our health message out to certain residents in our community.
April 25, 2020
These past days have been hard with the deaths of my colleagues, so I went on a run to clear my head. There were so many people in Central Park. I can’t believe it!! No masks, no social distancing. People are dying and they are having picnics!!!
5/06/2020 – 176,874 cases in NYC: 19,107 deaths – COVID Nightmare
5/02/2020 – 172,354 cases in NYC; 18,232 deaths – Spring is Here
4/29/2020 – 164,841 cases in NYC; 17,589 deaths – Casualty of War
4/26/2020 – 158,259 cases in NYC; 16,673 deaths – Mary Sturdivant: Advocate for the Underserved
4/25/2020 – 155,113 cases in NYC; 16,270 deaths – Selfish People
4/24/2020 – 150,473 cases in NYC; 15,848 deaths – Voices from the Frontline
4/22/2020 – 142,432 cases in NYC; 14,996 deaths – Collateral Damage
4/21/2020 – 134,874 cases in NYC; 14,427 deaths – Coronavirus Risk Factors Awareness Video
4/19/2020 – 131, 272 cases in NYC; 13,683 deaths – I heard a dead man speak
4/18/2020 – 131,272 cases in NYC; 12,712 deaths – How do we get back to work?
4/16/2020 – 123,148 cases in NYC; 12,199 deaths – Unforeseen Outcomes
4/15/2020 – 118,302 cases in NYC; 11,915 deaths – Acceptance
4/14/2020 – 110,465 cases in NYC; 7,690 deaths – COVID-19 War Diaries [Men’s Health article]
4/13/2020 – 106,763 cases in NYC, 7,154 deaths – On the coronavirus front line: The life of a New York City doctor [Al Jazeera English article]
4/12/2020 – 103,208 cases in NYC, 6717 deaths – Overcoming Stuttering with Music
4/11/2020 – 98,308 cases in NYC, 6,202 deaths – Off day
4/10/2020 – 94,409 cases in NYC, 5,820 deaths – Know Thy Enemy
4/09/2020 – 87,028 cases in NYC, 5,150 deaths – Upstairs in the ICU, Another Perspective
4/08/2020 – 81,803 cases in NYC, 4,571 deaths – Turning Point
4/07/2020 – 78,876 in cases NYC, 4,009 deaths – Ray of Hope
4/06/2020 – 68,776 cases in NYC, 2,738 deaths – Coronavirus Advocacy
4/05/2020 – 63,307 cases in NYC, 2,254 deaths – Delivering Bad News, DNR/DNI
4/04/2020 – 57,160 cases in NYC, 1,867 deaths – My heart hurts so much
4/03/2020 – 57,160 cases in NYC, 1,562 deaths – Mandatory Masks
4/02/2020 – 51,810 cases in NYC, 1,562 deaths – Flipping to Nights
4/01/2020 – 47,440 cases in NYC, 1,374 death – No Hiding Place
3/31/2020 – 43,139 cases in NYC, 1096 deaths – Repressed Memories
3/30/2020 – 38,087 cases in NYC, 914 deaths – I’m exhausted
3/29/2020 – 33,768 cases in NYC, 776 deaths – All hands on deck
3/28/2020 – 30,765 cases in NYC, 672 deaths – Worst case scenario solutions
3/27/2020 – 25,399 cases in NYC, 450 deaths – You would never know!
3/26/2020 – 23,112 cases in NYC, 365 deaths – The high acuity continues!
3/25/2020 – 17,856 cases in NYC, 199 deaths – Country before career
3/24/2020 – 14,905 cases in NYC, 192 deaths – This isn’t the flu!
3/23/2020 – 12,305 cases in NYC, 98 deaths – “If I get corona, I get corona”
3/22/2020 – 9,045 cases in NYC – Trojan Horse
3/22/2020 – 6,211 cases in NYC – High Volume, High Acuity
3/21/2020 – 4,408 cases in NYC – Another night, another intubation