COVID-19: A health-care worker’s perspective

Rishi Suresh, Ryan J. Logue, Deepa B. Gotur, Steven H. Hsu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic took the world by surprise in 2020, rapidly overwhelming our societies, economies, and health-care systems. The health-care workers (HCWs), hospital administrators, government leaders, and public health officials all rushed to coordinate and contain its global spread. Early on, it became clear that the virus was highly contagious and had a longer latent (yet transmissible) period when compared with previous pandemics. During the early dynamics in Wuhan, China, the basic reproductive number (R0) was 2.2-2.7, suggesting a doubling time of the number of infected persons of 6-7days. The spread of the disease has been further exacerbated by limitations in testing and medical supplies, disconcerting guidelines, conflicting media information, and whether policies are instituted and enforced to attempt to “flatten the curve” as well as the timeliness of health-related political efforts. At the same time, a swarming number of fast-track publications and interventions overwhelmed frontline HCWs with excessive and misrepresented study conclusions that needed to be implemented at the bedside. Some high-profile publications were even retracted limiting further therapeutic options. Facing these uncertainties, HCWs have been battling with immense physical and psychological stress from a surge of clinical work, staff shortage, bed crunch, potential lack of personal protective equipment and drugs, and profound ethical conflicts. Above all, HCWs grapple with the risks that exposure to the virus could have not only for themselves but for their families. The International Council of Nursing reported an estimate of 230,000 infected HCWs and over 600 nurses died based on information collected on 30 countries from national nursing associations, government figures, and media reports in June 2020. In this chapter, we explore the multitude of challenges confronting the frontline providers during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCOVID-19 Pandemic
Subtitle of host publicationLessons from the Frontline
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780323828604
ISBN (Print)9780323828611
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Challenges
  • Experiences
  • Frontline
  • Health-care workers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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