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'An incredibly helpless feeling:' New York doctor shares stories from epicenter of pandemic

Posted at 1:32 PM, May 01, 2020

NEW YORK — Before the rest of the country and even New York state realized what was about to happen, doctors in Queens like Dr. Saquib Rahim and his colleagues were getting a first look at COVID-19.

He chronicled his experience treating coronavirus patients in the epicenter of the pandemic. One of his first posts received hundreds of thousands of views on his LinkedIn page.

"This was my day in and day out reality. It wasn't uncommon or didn't feel unique because this was just what I was walking into. I didn't realize the disconnect between all us working on the proverbial frontlines and what everyone else was feeling," Rahim said. "Everyone else was sequestered at home."

It's why he kept writing, one-by-one sharing his stories. In one instance, he shared how he had become the final line of communication between a patient about to be intubated and his daughter.

He says the exchange shook him to his core.

"This was the floodgates open and we needed to do what we needed to do. I didn't really have time to think. It was just reacting," Rahim said. "I had never been in a situation like that, even in residency. So many patients coming so sick all at once. It was an incredibly helpless feeling."

"We didn't have any good therapy to offer. We still don't," he said.

But there was also hope. Rahim says it's important to note while there are so many stories of tragedy, an overwhelming number of patients make it through.

It's what he finds most uplifting. Today, however, there is still some fear as he hears of talks of re-opening and easing of some restrictions.

This story was originally published by Narmeen Choudhury on WPIX in New York.