In the Defense of Medicine

Meeta Shah
4 min readOct 17, 2020

I have spent a lot of energy being angry over the past few months — however, I have progressed to spending more days feeling burned out and defeated than I would like to admit. Baring witness, over and over to the gaslighting against science and medicine has led to literal mental exhaustion. Though frustrated, I can see that I am not alone — as many have read, earlier this month in an unprecedented move the New England Journal of Medicine published an editorial speaking against the current climate of science naysaying, unequivocally stating that the pandemic has been mishandled and unnecessarily tragic. Cochrane, a well respected reviewer of best practices, is partnering with other organizations to launch “World Evidence-Based Healthcare Day” on October 20th. Other top scientific publications such as Nature, Lancet and The Scientific American, broke their apolitical rule and publicly endorsed Joe Biden for president. As an emergency physician, I am in full agreement and support of scientists and experts “speaking up”. While science should generally “stick to the facts” and remain impartial, this is difficult to do when political spin endangers public health and safety.

While a portion of my woes and stresses around the pandemic have gotten a reprieve as far as patient volumes, the burden on my mind has now been replaced with battling mistruths and individualism. How can healthcare workers keep up with patient care best practices and public education when there is a loud and powerful narrative against us that is downplaying a virus that has unnecessarily caused death and destruction of our way of life? To be sure, as a person now well exposed to the nuances of COVID-19 patient care, I don’t deny that many courses of COVID-19 infection are mild or self-limiting — in fact we have always known this. I also don’t deny that our understanding of treatment is far better than it was 6 months ago when we were on the most difficult part of this journey, thereby improving outcomes. However, what I do stand to discredit is the idea that this is no longer something we should worry about. It is not yet time to rip off our masks and head to the stadiums to revel in large masses again. Particularly as we stare in the face of…

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Meeta Shah

I write to stay sane. Lover of Sarcasm. Multi-tasking is my life: Mother, Doctor, Health IT, Wellness, Writer. @msmemesha