Tampa doctor expresses fear of catching and spreading COVID-19 to patients, children

Local News

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Doctors are the ones on the front lines of this coronavirus war. You can only imagine how they’re feeling.

“It’s a scary time,” said Dr. Jessica Stine of Tampa.

Stine is a gynecological oncologist. She is still operating on her patients because cancer is not considered an elective surgery. She is prioritizing her patients in order of urgency.

She opened up about how she’s feeling in these uncertain times.

“When we’re out there in the hospital or even seeing our patients in the office we’re worried that we’re going to get infected. We’re worried we’re going to infect our patients,” Stine said.

That’s a strong dose of reality from a doctor who is also married to a doctor. Their children are ages 2 and 6.

“Usually you walk through the door as a parent you just want to give them big hugs and say hello but we’ve had to stop that,” she said. “Obviously, we’re trying the best we can to eliminate any sort of transmission to our house that we can.”

Now, Stine and her husband, on OB-GYN, enter through their garage door and use their laundry room as a decontamination zone. Their ID badges, goggles and everything that can be stripped off, gets cleaned with disinfectant wipes.

“We put on a temporary outfit to get to the shower. We go straight to the shower, wash off and then we get to say hi to the kids.”

Some doctors aren’t going home at all. Stine said some emergency room providers and doctors treating the majority of the COVD-19 patients are opting to quarantine from their families to keep them safe.

“We’re going to start to see that more and more,” she said.

When asked how the public can help health care workers, the prescription for that, according to Stine, is simple.

“What we really need is for people to stay home.”


WHAT TO KNOW:

  • Florida is reporting 47,471 cases and 2,069 deaths
  • Florida K-12 schools will remain online/distance learning through the end of the school year
  • Florida in Phase One of reopening
  • Travelers from NY tri-state area and New Orleans coming to Florida must quarantine for 14 days

LATEST ON THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC:

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