COVID denial wears medical workers out, says Latvian paramedic chief

Denial of the existence or seriousness of COVID-19 has a deep emotional impact on healthcare personnel, Liene Cipule, head of the Emergency Medical Service (NMPD), said on Latvian Radio December 7.

"We can each have our own individual attitudes, but the burden on the health system falls on real people: real nurses, real doctors, staff who work in hospitals and social care centers. Each such denial raises additional tension and alarm for them. They can often think - do I need it all, if this is not real, I'll take off my overalls and go home," Cipule said.

She said that it would help medics if people tried to behave in such a way that medics have as little work as possible.

"You think of one medic. He gets more and more patients. And he understands it won't end a day or a month later. He also sees the society continuing to discuss that they need nail files or something like that. He is so overwhelmed by his hopelessness that one day he might simply not come to work," Cipule said.

Cipule also added that Latvia could not prepare for the increase in COVID-19 rates in the autumn because it is not possible to train new medical personnel during one summer. She was pleased with the diligence of interns and students, but at the same time stressed that she did not know how long the medics can take the burden.

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