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Greek Doctor Cries for Help: "We are at War with Covid"

Doctor Daniel Konstantinidis. Credit: Daniel Konstantinidis/Facebook

Greek doctor Daniel Konstantinidis, who works at Papanikolaou General Hospital in Thessaloniki, in northern Greece, published a cry for help on social media on Thursday, stating that “We are at war” with Covid-19.
Dr. Konstantinidis writes in his post that the coronavirus pandemic is “unprecedented,” stressing the fact that no one living our time has faced anything like it.
In addition to his desperate cry for Greek citizens to “follow the anti-virus measures and advice from health officials,” Konstantinidis laments that doctors in Thessaloniki have had to intubate “otherwise healthy 40 and 50-year-olds” suffering from the virus in a separate post on Sunday.
With anxiety clearly showing in their eyes, these patients often ask if they have time to call their loved ones before they are intubated in the ICU, which for them presents “a trip with an unknown destination,” Konstantinidis writes. Others simply cry before they undergo the serious and uncomfortable procedure, in which a machine breathes for them.
A Covid patient speaks with a loved one through video chat, captured by photojournalist Alexandros Michailidis in an ICU unit in Athens. Credit: Alexandros Michailidis

Tragic realities of the pandemic such as these, invisible to most of the world, have inspired Konstantinidis to speak out against the extremely unhelpful conspiracy theories swirling around the world regarding the virus — which sometimes even include much-needed protective measures, such as lockdowns and facemasks, that have spread throughout society.
In his post on Sunday, Konstantinidis reinforces to the public that believing in such conspiracies and flouting protective measures is “deadly” and advises that “it’s better to be deluded than to be intubated.”
Thessaloniki has become the epicenter of the virus in Greece, as case numbers and intubations continue to skyrocket. The health system “is hanging on by a thread,” Konstantinidis writes, as hospitals in the city continue to fill up with Covid patients.
Konstantinidis warns that “its very possible that we will live through scenes such as those that we saw in Italy,” where hospitals were inundated with Covid patients during the start of the pandemic — and are approaching that level once again in some areas.
Dr. Konstantinidis calls on Greeks to do all they can to prevent becoming infected with the virus, because “once the hospitals are decongested, more patients with other serious health problems will have access to treatment.”
As hospitals in the city are dangerously close to reaching capacity now, Greek health officials have moved 50 beds from cardiac, neurosurgery and vascular surgery units in Thessaloniki’s hospitals to be used exclusively for patients suffering from the coronavirus.
Quoting the iconic words of former US President John F. Kennedy, Konstantinidis concludes his call for Greeks to adhere to anti-virus measures with: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

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