Houston doctor says next 6 weeks will be 'pretty dark'

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Dr. Joseph Varon has worked 256 consecutive days inside the United Memorial Medical Center, and he says as much as he's seen, the worst may be yet to come.

"I am concerned we are going to have an influx of patients all at the same time in the next four to six weeks," he told ABC13 on Monday.

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"Good Morning America's" report on the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday, Nov. 29.



That influx could overwhelm hospitals. He said all 40 beds at UMMC are already full. Varon added another 45 on Monday to accommodate the anticipated spike.

"The next six weeks are going to be pretty dark," he said. "They are going to be probably the darkest weeks in modern American medical history."



Early that morning, Varon said they lost a patient eight hours after her arrival late Sunday.
She had no pre-existing conditions. He and his staff are seeing more and more patients come in gravely ill.

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The disease is taking a toll on our neighbors and the health care providers trying their best to save lives. ABC 13'S Tom Abrahams spoke with two nurses on the front lines who have seen COVID-19 and fought it themselves.



"One of the concerns that I have is that people are coming in sicker because they are waiting too long," he said. "People are dropping their guard. They are tired. They have what I call '[COVID-19] fatigue syndrome.' They hear [COVID-19] all the time so they say, 'Oh nothing is going to happen,' or 'If I get it and I'm going to die, I'm going to die.' That's what they tell you."

Varon acknowledged the mixed messaging from all levels of government and within the medical community, but he says to lessen the threat, to flatten the curve, to ease the pressure on the doctors and
nurses, people should do four simple things.

"Keep your social distance," he said. "Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Don't go to large gatherings."

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