Covid-19 And A Doctor’s Suicide

I am guessing that you all know this story by now. The story about the New York E.R. physician, Dr. Lorna Breen, pictured above. The story of how she was in charge of the E.R. in one of the most devastating epicenters of COVID-19 in N.Y.C. during the most devastating days in Gotham. How she contracted and survived the disease herself, only to succumb to a feeling of helplessness in the face of the pandemic. “I couldn’t do anything” was her summary statement of that feeling prior to her suicide.  

But even though you know the tragic story, you still may want to check this out. What you will see is a detailed recounting of Lorna’s struggle and the attempts by her dear sister to help Dr. Breen to avoid disaster. 

Bottom Line. As I read this NYT story over for the second time, a chill suddenly went up my spine. Why? Because I suddenly realized that it was because Dr. Breen was such a good/dedicated/perfectionist doctor that she couldn’t take the helplessness anymore and ended her own life.

And so? And so I am greatly concerned that it is going to be the great doctors like this one who are going to have the most permanent psychological damage from being “on the front lines.” It might not drive all of them to suicide, but 2020, this year of constant and multiple stresses for all of the HCP’s involved, will certainly leave its mark on our best and our brightest. 

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