Abbotsford Regional Hospital. Black Press file photo.

Isolated Abbotsford doctor issues desperate plea for the public to take drastic COVID-19 action

Dr. Brian Driedger describes state of hospital, healthcare workers and need for social distancing

Dr. Brian Driedger.

An Abbotsford doctor is pleading with Canadians and his fellow Fraser Valley residents to take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously.

Dr. Brian Driedger, a member of Abbotsford Regional Hospital’s maternity ward, self-isolated in his home on March 18 after working a 24-hour shift at the hospital. He says if the public doesn’t follow the government’s warnings, hospital capacity, healthcare workers and their families will be put at risk.

In a series of Facebook posts – which have shared by well-over 2,400 times – he describes the situation at the hospital, and the tenacity of his fellow healthcare workers.

“The COVID onslaught is here in our hospital… This is a battle in a war that is just beginning,” Driedger said. “Today I was fighting back tears in my office as I communicated with two of our true heroes – ICU nurses who are on the front line… They both have little ones on the way, as well as little ones at home. They are the soldiers in the first wave, running out front into battle facing a hail of deadly bullets.”

After returning home to self-isolate after his full-day shift, Driedger said he was disturbed from seeing restaurants and businesses open, and people walking around the city, acting as they normally would.

“Please look at the numbers. We are in a state of emergency now, and we all need to act,” he said. “Please, please, please take this virus seriously. We should not wait for the government to tell us to shutter all non-essential businesses, and should lock ourselves down at home in isolation if we are able.

The province has “precious few” ventilators which will be needed by the increasing number of COVID-19 patients in the next two weeks, according to Driedger.

“The time for drastic action is now. Do not be lulled into complacency by the seeming calm right now,” he said. “Take every precaution possible immediately for the sake of yourselves, your family, our patients, and our country and tell all of your loved ones to go into isolation as they now are in Italy and France.”

Driedger said his decision to self-isolate was not taken lightly, but he did so for the safety of his family. He says there are many others in the health-care field who are having to make this difficult choice.

“There is a whole cohort of ER and ICU nurses, docs, RTs, unit clerks, and cleaning staff that are now are facing a living hell… They are moms, dads, sons and daughters.” he said. “It is brutal for those with young kids. For the sake of these families, please immediately take action.

“It is our one and only chance now to slow this pandemic.”

RELATED: Pregnant in a pandemic: Expectant B.C. moms change birth plans due to COVID-19

RELATED: Fraser Health limits hospital visitors to slow spread of COVID-19


@portmoodypigeon
patrick.penner@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

abbotsfordCoronavirusDoctors

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Aldergrove senior gives blood for 200th time, has ‘saved’ 600 lives

There was no cutting of cake for Harvey Rempel but he’s challenging youth to start donating blood

Strong home sales in early March plunged as virus hit

Sales were trending upwards before physical isolation began

Sources B.C. offers Langley residents ‘one-time crisis loans’ to help pay rent

Individual low income earners could receive a loan for up to $1,200 and $1,600 for a family

LETTER: Amid virus, Langley trail notes move reader

Expressing thanks for a kind gesture in a difficult time

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Abbotsford man who tries to start gas-station fight gets sprayed with gasoline

Suspect returns with knife and throws it at victim, but is quickly arrested by police

Abbotsford family of 5 who was stuck in Vietnam is now back home

Janzen family sends ‘huge and heartfelt’ thank you to everyone who helped

Celebrate Easter in a ‘safe way,’ Dr. Henry urges as B.C records 6 new COVID-19 deaths

Top doctor urges British Columbians to halt non-essential travel within the province

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

B.C.’s senior home staff measures show results in COVID-19 battle

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s order restricts care aides to one facility

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

Most Read