- Since our article detailing Urologists’ efforts in Singapore during its initial outbreak,1 COVID-19 has become a global pandemic. As incidence and mortality rises worldwide, countries have instituted crippling lockdowns. Singapore has not been immune, resulting in nation-wide restrictions and “circuit breaker” measures.2 It is evident that the medical community must prepare for a prolonged effort to not only contain COVID-19, but continue care for non-COVID-19 patients.
- The human spread of a novel beta-coronavirus, that is, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was first reported in Wuhan in December 2019.1 COVID-19 was then designated as the name of the disease resulting from this infection which is short for “Coronavirus Disease 2019.”1 COVID-19 has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020, which is also the date when the first confirmed case in Turkey has been announced by the Ministry of Health. As in other countries, number of cases increased over time in correlation with the increasing number of testing as well as spread of the virus and as of April 30, 2020 there were 120,204 confirmed cases in Turkey, which ranked as seventh after Germany.
- There are 4639 miles between Milan, Italy (Cestari) and Knoxville, TN (White). Milan is a cultural and economic global linchpin with a population of well over 3 million people. Knoxville is a regional hub in the State of Tennessee near the base of the Smoky Mountains with a population of around 500,000. Milan is the cornerstone of the Lombardy region in Italy, among the most deeply impacted areas of the world by SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). Knoxville just recorded its 175th case. There could not be a more divergent reality for the 2 of us.
- The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the lives of many health care workers (HCW), including resident physicians. Residents comprise a large portion of the workforce in many academic centers and have become critical in the front-line response for COVID-19 patients. As hospitals experience surges in admissions, residents in many disciplines, including urology, have been asked to function outside their specialty training to join COVID-19 treatment units. As the pandemic unfolds, urology residents will face challenges regarding personal safety and well-being, disruptions in their urology training, and relationship strain.
- One word can be used to best describe the theme of each day that has transpired since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic: uncertainty. Urologic surgical residents around the nation are faced with the unknown when they walk through the doors of the hospital each day. While experience has taught us navigational strategies to handle these circumstances, the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly brought new meaning to this concept. Priorities have quickly transitioned from closely following our previously developed academic curriculum and enhancing our surgical skills, to limiting physician-patient encounters and ensuring the safety and health of our team.