TRI-CITIES, Tenn/Va. (WJHL) – A group of Tri-Cities physician moms who connected over Facebook is speaking out after seeing rising COVID-19 cases in the community, especially affecting kids and teens like their own.
Family medicine physician Dr. Mary McCormick is the mother of an eight and four-year-old.
“We are dealing with a new variant of COVID, we’re not in the same place that we were last year,” Dr. McCormick said. “We are concerned for our community right now, so we as parents are concerned not only for our kids’ safety but also for the safety of our community.”
Dr. McCormick said that her children will be going back to school in person this year but will be wearing masks.
“If you can send your kids to school with a mask, it may not be 100%, but it’s going to help somewhat,” Dr. McCormick said. “If they’re old enough that they can get the vaccine, that’s also going to help.”
Another mother in the group, Dr. Hetvi Joshi, is a physician who works with COVID-19 patients.
“I genuinely wish I can explain in words that can actually match the reality of what we see in the unit,” Dr. Joshi said. “My personal opinion? It’s just pure misery.”
Dr. Joshi said one of the challenges of her job is coming home to her daughter who is too young to be vaccinated. She takes the best preventative measures she can to prevent passing the virus to her.
“It’s really challenging. I mean emotionally, physically, all I can think of is that I don’t pass anything to her from my side,” Dr. Joshi said. “She is still young, and she’s still not yet eligible for the vaccine.”
Dr. Joshi said she can attest that vaccines and masks work because she cares for COVID-19 patients at close proximity daily and has managed to stay healthy by using these methods.
“Less percentage population vaccinated, it creates a high risk for this particular virus to keep mutating and keep this community, our region, and our country at a very high risk for some other mutation which would be more lethal than we are already seeing right now,” Dr. Joshi said.
“Our message to the community is to do everything that you can as a family to prevent the transmission of this virus,” Dr. McCormick said.