FORT MYERS

Sunday marked two years since the first confirmed COVID-19 case and death in Lee County. The coronavirus outbreak sent the country into a pandemic that changed daily life.

Lee Health is now looking back on what they have learned and the challenges they still face. Like everyone, the hospital system didn’t know what to do at first. There were no vaccines and recommendations, so they did what they knew best, took care of the patients.

This meant providing oxygen and ventilatory support, steroids, nutrition support and helping people recover.

Dr Sunil Pammy of Lee Health said they have experienced challenges along the way, a lack of protective equipment, keeping up with the changes, and he said he has learned a lot personally.

“I’ve learned a lot about resilience, you know, patient resilience, knowing they have a disease, and a desire to fight and give us everything we can to survive. We asked them to do everything so that they could breathe deeply, you know, stay calm, you know, follow the medication and treatment, and sometimes they disagreed with our treatment, but they followed it to be healthy and get better, ”Pammy said. .

The total death toll from COVID-19 in Lee County is over 2,000, and there were about 28,000 thousand patients who came through Lee’s health care system.

Pammy said those numbers are now lower thanks to preventative measures such as vaccines and treatments, but it took time before those methods appeared.

“There are certain treatments that can be used to prevent you from being hospitalized, such as continuing to use the monoclonal antibody therapy we have. Thus, we initially use convalescent plasma. But now we are using monoclonal antibody therapy that we can introduce in our comprehensive care centers. And sometimes in the emergency room if you have symptoms and we also have in stock, any of the new antiviral drugs, ”Pammy said.

Although Lee County has come a long way, Dr. Pammy said their biggest struggle now is to keep the community from letting their vigilance down and continuing to take the necessary precautions against COVID-19.

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