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Local Triathletes on COVID-19 Front Line...

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By Aimee Berg (usatriathlon.org)

Brittany and Nick Philpot // Ages: 29 and 34 // Emergency room doctors Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis, Minnesota 

“The ER has been crazy, hectic. We’re seeing more and more COVID, less other issues. I don’t know if that’s because people are quarantining and not having heart attacks, or if they’re too terrified to come to the ER because of COVID and they’re suffering at home — that’s my fear.

 From the moment we enter the ER, we put on our face mask and full face shield. You’re not allowed to take it off so communication is difficult; you feel like you’re shouting. We’re all getting so dehydrated because we can’t take our masks off for eight or nine hours.

Another thing that’s really difficult is that the COVID guidelines are changing day by day. I’ll get three, four, five emails a day: new data is saying this or that. We want to know what the public is hearing, too. There’s so much anxiety about missing new information. But there haven’t been a lot of randomized control trials which is typically the data we like to trust....

 With Covid-19, we’re seeing other inconsistencies. On paper, a patient’s vital signs can look like a million bucks but clinically, they’re doing poorly. Other times, they look terrible on paper and in front of you, they’re fine. Sometimes people can be doing OK and their oxygen saturation is 75 percent of normal. In a flu patient, if you were 75 percent, you would be in horrible shape.

 Prior to COVID, Nick and I were pretty good about keeping work and home life separate. But now, it seems COVID is ruling our conversations and our life.

There are actually a ton of ER docs and nurses who are triathletes. We’re people who crave having a million things going on at once. You know the quote about triathletes never being the fastest swimmer, the fastest biker, or the fastest runner in the world, but kicking [butt] at all three? That’s exactly what an ER doctor is. Whatever gets thrown at you, you make it work.”  MORE

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