I thought to write a few words on FB, especially for my friends in Sri Lanka, though I have never posted my personal views on social media before. As a physician, currently working in front line, dealing with new Coronavirus pandemic in a leading hospital in USA, I have witnessed a drastic difference between USA, which believes it is a part of the first world and Sri Lanka, known as a third world country.
I don’t have enough words to mark my appreciation of the SL government, its health care personnel, military and all the other supportive organizations for their extraordinary leadership. Thei r contribution stands out clearly when compared to the subpar means used by so called developed nations to handle this horrific battle.
Please tell your fellow Sri Lankan’s how lucky they are to have a government and healthcare sector pleading them to get tested if they are suspected to have infection, begging people who needed to be quarantined to contain the spread of the disease for the sake of rest of the nation, mobilizing the little money and resources they have to build those quarantine facilities, going above and beyond to take care of most of the needs of the public during this country’s locked down period, etc.
On the other hand, people in USA have to beg the the authorities to get the test done for them. Still, the chances of getting the test done have been very slim for the past couple of weeks due to the lack of testing kits and facilities. People who were more than 100 % sure that they got infected were turned down on some occasions as they did not meet the “criteria to get the test done”!!!!
Due to multiple reasons (which I am not going to discuss here) USA has lost the battle against the virus threat. Now the country is leading at first place among other nations with the highest number of infected cases and an escalating number of fatalities as well.
One of the biggest problems for the health care workers here is the extreme shortage of personnel protective gears. We are asked by our authorities to go to battle field with “toy guns” risking our own lives, and that of our colleagues’ other healthy patients and our loved ones lives. We are asked to use scarves and handkerchiefs as face masks once we run out of our last supply of face masks. We have to use/reuse N 95 masks and we get one surgical mask per provider per day.
Some emergency room physicians have stopped sleeping in their bedrooms as they are afraid that they would harm their loved once and started sleeping in their garage or in hospital On call rooms for days.
This is the bitter truth of the reality of USA now, supposedly the most advanced and privileged country in the world!
Hats off to my colleagues and all the other health professionals in Sri Lanka for the noble duties they are performing in during this difficult time!!!
Please make aware to your fellow Sri Lankans about the depth and seriousness of current pandemic, ask them to stop blame games, support the government to conquer the battle putting aside their own political views at this crucial moment, ask them to trust and believe in their health care professionals and lastly set a model as a proud nation to the rest of the world!!!
Thanks, Gaya Kulasinghe