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By March 2020, the first corona marks had already been seen in Israel. Sheba Hospital was the first to set up a field facility designed to receive and isolate corona patients to prevent the virus from spreading and spreading, but the facility soon became a dedicated ward for corona care, joining many more such wards opened in hospitals across the country.
After about a year of treating patients and also a painful separation, many of them, and against the background of the extensive vaccination campaign – the corona ward in Sheba was closed. Despite the hope that the department’s locks would remain closed, Prof. Gadi Segal, the director of the corona department and the person who managed the first field facility, is now forced to reopen it.
In an interview with Mako, Prof. Segal talks about the difficult feelings that arise in him in the face of the situation. First, he opens with a story about a recent shaky conversation he had: “A few days ago someone approached me who told me about his 72-year-old mother – a woman with no background illness who had not been vaccinated and was now dying of corona. She is hospitalized in a small hospital and he wanted to transfer her to our ward. When I tried to understand why she was not vaccinated, he replied ‘because of misinformation’. I think that’s the whole story here. Unfortunately, I have already seen too many people in our department lose their lives due to misinformation and false information. It starts with baseless rumors that the masks are ineffective and continues with horrible statements about vaccines. “Unfortunately, sometimes people realize that they are only wrong when it’s too late.”
Did you believe that the department would open so quickly?
“The truth is not. For several months now I have been treating ‘normal’ patients who come to the inpatient ward, and I was very hopeful that we would not have to reopen the coronary ward. Unfortunately, reality has struck us New – the corona will not go anywhere. “
Where are we today, can we say that we have at least progressed in the field of treatments since then?
“Unfortunately not really. There is currently no significant and realistic treatment that can help patients in a difficult situation other than supportive care. Steroid treatment helps little but does not cure. “This is an infusion treatment and the logistics involved are too complex, certainly when it comes to tens of thousands of patients who are in a mild condition. So at the moment there is no room for optimism about it. Bottom line, it should be understood that it is an incurable disease.
How do you prepare for the expected load in the department?
“We have recently started offering Corona patients an option for home hospitalization. I think this is an excellent solution that reduces the patient’s chances of suffering from infections, from depression. Beyond that, it has the potential to increase hospital capacity, freeing up human resources and space. Rehabilitation can also be done remotely in some cases.” .
What do you think needs to happen now so that we do not return to the closure period?
“In two words – mutual guarantee. We can try to drop the responsibility on the government and the statesmen, but in practice the significant power is in the hands of the public. It is important to wear a mask indoors, avoid gatherings and most importantly – get vaccinated. The fact that tens of thousands of Israelis go on holiday abroad every day is also puzzling to me and shows a certain disconnection – what is burning? Those who do not have to fly will simply not fly. After all, every departure from the country exposes us to new variants and the development of local mutations. Even if the sky is currently open it does not mean that one must take advantage of it at every opportunity. “Each of us has a personal responsibility to prevent the spread of the corona.”