Opinion: We Have a Shot at Ending the COVID-19 Crisis. Let’s Get It Done.

It is a difficult time to be a healthcare professional in the Mid-South. All of us have had to continuously change as we adapt to a different way of doing almost everything. The uncertainty created by the latest COVID-19 surge has created a stressful environment for most of us, and the distress of watching loved ones, friends and neighbors get sick with the virus is something none of us want.

We are the leaders of Memphis’s top specialist clinics, including Gastro One, Medical Anesthesia Group, OrthoSouth, Semmes-Murphey Clinic, Stern Cardiovascular, West Cancer Center, McDonald Murrmann, Memphis Radiological and Memphis OB/Gyn. For us, being trusted allies and advocates for patients is a core part of our missions.

In the same way our clinics deliver life-saving treatment and information to our patients on the operating table or in the office, we are urging our community members to protect themselves and to do their part in bringing this stage of the pandemic to a decisive end by getting vaccinated.

We certainly recognize the importance of individuals making informed choices about their care and treatment. However, our hospitals are filling up with patients infected with COVID-19, most of whom were never vaccinated. By getting the vaccine, you are protecting not only yourself but your family, co-workers and the entire community.  You are also helping to ensure that our health care facilities retain the capacity to care for patients who are seriously ill with other disorders.

We now know several facts about the vaccine. We know that it is very effective at preventing COVID-19.Although there can be minor side effects for some people such as chills, pain at the injection site and headache, overall the vaccine is a key factor, along with masking and social distancing, for controlling thespread of COVID-19.

Together, we urge you to roll up your sleeve for yourself, your family, your friends and your loved ones. We encourage everyone to ask questions, to share worries and to discuss doubts with their doctors or othertrusted, reliable sources of information. This is how we will get our lives back and    defeat COVID-19.

Let’s get it done, together.

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