Christina Bergin posted about her experience over the last year in a heartbreaking Twitter thread
The pandemic has made heroes of healthcare workers, full stop. Overworked and underappreciated, the frontline health workers have seen facilities at capacity, have comforted patients and families alike, and had to withstand the disbelief of people who think COVID is a hoax.
After 18 months of treating patients while keeping her family safe, Christina Bergin, MD wrote about her recent experience in a 12-part Twitter thread. Bergin initially asked her fellow Arizonians to demand officials do more to safeguard public health.
Later, Bergin went on to tell her story.
“We have sacrificed so much for you over these past 18 months. And it took only 3 days for you to destroy one of the last things I was hanging onto – the ability to keep my kids safe,” the thread begins.
Bergin goes on to detail the precautions she’s put in place to lower her family’s risk.
“Like so many other healthcare workers, I have an elaborate decontamination routine that I do faithfully after every single hospital shift, to try to decrease the risk of bringing the virus home to my family.”
“I thought about staying in a hotel,” Bergin continues. “I did all the grocery shopping alone since I was already getting exposed at work. We masked meticulously when not at home. Their school had fantastic safety protocols & we also took advantage of virtual options during weeks of highest risk of potential inadvertent transmission (after breaks when other families may have travelled).”
Bergin details what sacrifices she and her kiddos have made. “We pressed “pause” on participation in sports during the height of the summer & winter surges,” she explains. “We cancelled birthday parties, did virtual playdates, etc, etc. Why did I do all this?”
It’s because Bergin’s seen COVID-19 up close, she says. “Because I know how bad this virus can be, what it can do to even healthy individuals.”
“I didn’t want to risk any of that for my kids or my husband,” Bergin says. ”And so we’ve been careful for 18 long months. Hubs & I got vaccinated as soon as we were eligible.”
“But our kids aren’t old enough to be eligible,” Bergin explains. “And then you forced schools to reopen without the ability to implement the same measures that kept kids & staff safe last year. And you doubled down on that despite Delta being 2-3x as contagious & cases starting to surge again.”
Bergin then drops a bombshell that every superintendent, governor, and public health official should learn from:
“And as a direct result, my kiddo, who I’ve managed to keep from coming into contact with a known COVID+ person for 18 long months, was exposed within only 3 days of starting school. THREE DAYS. We’re still masking; we never stopped. My kids are great about wearing their masks.”
“I bought the best quality masks I can find. But if others aren’t masking up also, my not-yet-old-enough-to-be-vaxxed kids can be, will be, & already have been exposed. And that’s on you @dougducey & @AZGOP.”
A twitter user praised Bergin for her honesty.
“I’m furious,” Bergin (rightfully) says. “I’m deeply disappointed at how many care so little for others in their community, for their kids’ friends & family members & teachers. That they care so little for the healthcare workers who have been beaten down over & over again for the past 18 months, but are picking themselves up to meet the monster yet again.”
“We don’t want you to call us heroes,” clarifies Bergin. “We want you to give a damn about someone other than yourself. We want you to wear a piece of cloth over your nose & mouth for a little while. We want you to teach & expect your kids to do it too. So that we can *prevent suffering & death.”
“We have sacrificed so much for you over the past 18 months,” she points out. “And it took only 3 days for you to destroy one of the last things I was hanging on to – the ability to keep my kids safe. Kids & parents have the #Right2SafeAZSchools.”
The doctor closes with what should be a rallying cry for every community: “Public health shouldn’t be political.”