A report from the frontlines at MGH

Dr. Jarone Lee, a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, is very worried as predictions of infection rates run as high as 60 percent worldwide.

“I am a critical care doctor so I do see the sickest folks. We are very worried on the ICU side,” he said on the Codcast with Paul Hattis of Tufts University Medical School and John McDonough of Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health. (The interview was taped Friday afternoon.)

“At this point, we’re worried about the worst-case scenario, hoping for the best.,” Lee said.  “On the ICU side, if it gets to the point of Italy or some other places we’ve heard about in the world, we do not have the capacity to take care of that many patients. I believe that’s true probably for the US health system in general. We don’t have enough ventilators or ICU beds.”

Lee said government officials are urging the public to practice good personal hygiene and social distancing measures to slow the spread of the disease and reduce the number of cases per day so the health care system doesn’t get overwhelmed. Lee, however, cautions that the situation will get worse before it gets better.