As the coronavirus pandemic began to ramp up a few weeks ago, the reality of the situation hit everyone differently. For Dr. Rebecca Patterson Judd with Facey Medical Group, it began with a phone call from a patient, who had awakened her to tell her they had tested positive for COVID-19.
“It just became real,” she said. “Coronavirus had found its way into my awesome town, and I knew my medical practice would never be the same.”
Soon, the family medicine physician found herself volunteering to screen, triage and treat patients at some of the Santa Clarita Valley’s COVID-19 surge sites, where immediate care centers were transitioned to treat those with symptoms of the virus.
“This type of practice was different than my office-based, primary care practice, and I found myself suffering from a new type of mental and physical exhaustion,” Judd said.
She quickly found she was also unprepared in terms of personal protective equipment, or PPE, as were her colleagues, many of whom were in the same boat. “I needed different attire, including scrubs, shoes that were easy to clean and quick snacks to sustain long shifts.”
As many do, she turned to social media, simply posting on her personal page a photo of her working, accompanied by a few things she’d learned. “I mentioned a list of what I wished I had to be prepared for the new way of medicine I’d be practicing for what appeared to be the next few months.”
On March 30, which just so happened to also be National Doctors’ Day, Judd came home to find a pile of deliveries, full of supplies from her wish list. Later she learned that her friends and family had taken it upon themselves to ask the SCV community for help in acquiring enough donations for Judd as well as all of her colleagues.
“I was overcome with an outpouring of love and support from family and friends who wanted to somehow help me and my health care colleagues, serving on the front lines of uncharted waters, many of them unprepared but ultimately taking a risk to care for others,” she said.
The doctors received boxes full of scrubs, crocs and handmade surgical caps, as well as quick snacks, like protein bars and shakes.
“The masks we have to wear are hard on the skin, so they gave (us) lotion and facial and cleansing products — all these things that we didn’t even think of, but were just so helpful,” Judd said.
“They went above and beyond,” she added. “Thank you SCV, thank you.”
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