Dr. Angelique Campen is an ER doctor at Providence Saint Joseph Emergency Department, a Clinical Instructor of Emergency Medicine at UCLA Medical Center, and the CMO and Founder of Vital Medical Services. Follow her down to earth evidence based information at @glamERdoc
1) I guess we can call the current spike in Covid cases a third wave. How does it compare to earlier spikes in the year?
After 10 months of battling this pandemic, it is at its highest of all time now. Earlier, I still felt under control in the hospital, but it is now getting very very scary.
2) Why do you suppose cases are rising so quickly right now both locally and nationally?
I think the rise in cases is due to people relaxing their precautions, the fact that people can be asymptomatic and still spread the disease, and people having a false sense of security with friends and family.
3) News reports indicate that hospital resources are getting stressed again during this spike. Are you seeing that?
The two hospitals where I work are being stretched to their limits. There are days that the entire ICU is full and we must keep sick patients in the ER for care until a bed opens. This puts extra strain on our already busy department.
4) As a first responder, you were one of the first to get vaccinated earlier this week. How did you feel about getting the vaccination, and have you had any side effects since receiving?
I got my vaccine on 12/16 (the first of 2 doses). I was initially not going to get it, but after studying the physiology of the vaccine and learning more about mRNA vaccines, I concluded it was totally safe for me, and I was one of the first in line for it. Other than a sore arm, I have felt no side effects.
5) Since March, most of us spend our day, in part, avoiding scenarios that put ourselves in position to get Covid. When you go to work everyday, you run toward it. How concerned are you when you go to work that you'll get it, and how confident are you in the protection available to you to avoid it?
I have spent 10 months avoiding catching Covid. I am tested regularly and have remained negative. It is not hard to avoid: wear a mask, keep your hands clean, and don’t touch your nose or eyes. I CAN DO THAT, and so can you! Now that I will be immunized, I am so relieved and excited to get antibodies into my body!
6) Heading into the holidays what advice do you have for people to avoid getting Covid, while also not being completely isolated at this time of year?
Do not think that just because someone is a friend or family that they don’t have Covid. Do not think that just because someone has no symptoms and feels fine they do not have Covid. Get tested at least after 3 days of quarantine, and then you can be a little safer.
7) With the vaccine arriving now, would you care to forecast when you’d anticipate LA will be in position to ease stay at home orders and start to reopen?
I can’t make any prediction when this will be over. I will continue though to do my part to be safe and am hopeful with the vaccine that things will get back to a new normal soon.