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    Miami doctor reflects on contracting COVID-19

    Back in June when Florida’s COVID-19 cases took a sharp turn upwards, Dr. Mark Supino worked nightshifts treating patients with coronavirus and other complications at Miami’s Jackson Memorial hospital. And by late June, he contracted the virus himself. “I was very fortunate. When I had COVID, I had very mild symptoms. I wasn’t bedbound, I was only really ill for a couple of days and then I was able to sort of get out of it, I never had respiratory symptoms and didn’t have to go to the hospital, but some of my colleagues were in bed for two weeks. It’s unpredictable.” He said his symptoms lasted five days, but even weeks later, his sense of taste and smell are still reduced. Being infected with the same virus as his patients especially a virus that is still unknown, he said has allowed him to have a strong sense of empathy. “This has taught me to be humble…So I would like to think that my approach to patient care would have nothing to do with me being afflicted with the same illness. What I will tell you, I’ve learned a lot was when I had been making the callbacks and I was actually making the callbacks while I was sick at home off work. So it was safe for me to call people, you can’t transmit through the phone and I was calling people back to let them know that they were positive and listening to their questions and their concern, and the isolation and in those moments relating to them as someone who was ill, I felt it. I definitely felt it.” Florida currently has the third-largest coronavirus outbreak in the nation, behind California and New York. On Friday, the total number of coronavirus cases in Florida rose to more than 402,000 and the number of deaths from the virus rose by 136, totaling more than 5700 deaths in the state on Friday. And despite the percentage of positive tests rising in the state indicating widespread community transmission, Florida has not issued a statewide mask mandate. “I feel like maybe we have failed people by not getting everyone on board. And I do feel that the reticence to embrace sort of a position of wearing masks and sort of protecting everyone is a coping mechanism… So I’m a little disappointed that we haven’t been able to modify that situation.” As for Supino and his colleagues, he says they trying to help as many people, while keeping their heads above water as the numbers continue to soar in their state.
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    World News from Reuters

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