Abbotsford Regional Hospital. Black Press file photo.

Abbotsford Regional Hospital. Black Press file photo.

Isolated Abbotsford doctor issues desperate plea for the public to take drastic COVID-19 action

Dr. Brian Driedger describes state of hospital, healthcare workers and need for social distancing

Dr. Brian Driedger.

An Abbotsford doctor is pleading with Canadians and his fellow Fraser Valley residents to take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously.

Dr. Brian Driedger, a member of Abbotsford Regional Hospital’s maternity ward, self-isolated in his home on March 18 after working a 24-hour shift at the hospital. He says if the public doesn’t follow the government’s warnings, hospital capacity, healthcare workers and their families will be put at risk.

In a series of Facebook posts – which have shared by well-over 2,400 times – he describes the situation at the hospital, and the tenacity of his fellow healthcare workers.

“The COVID onslaught is here in our hospital… This is a battle in a war that is just beginning,” Driedger said. “Today I was fighting back tears in my office as I communicated with two of our true heroes – ICU nurses who are on the front line… They both have little ones on the way, as well as little ones at home. They are the soldiers in the first wave, running out front into battle facing a hail of deadly bullets.”

After returning home to self-isolate after his full-day shift, Driedger said he was disturbed from seeing restaurants and businesses open, and people walking around the city, acting as they normally would.

“Please look at the numbers. We are in a state of emergency now, and we all need to act,” he said. “Please, please, please take this virus seriously. We should not wait for the government to tell us to shutter all non-essential businesses, and should lock ourselves down at home in isolation if we are able.

The province has “precious few” ventilators which will be needed by the increasing number of COVID-19 patients in the next two weeks, according to Driedger.

“The time for drastic action is now. Do not be lulled into complacency by the seeming calm right now,” he said. “Take every precaution possible immediately for the sake of yourselves, your family, our patients, and our country and tell all of your loved ones to go into isolation as they now are in Italy and France.”

Driedger said his decision to self-isolate was not taken lightly, but he did so for the safety of his family. He says there are many others in the health-care field who are having to make this difficult choice.

“There is a whole cohort of ER and ICU nurses, docs, RTs, unit clerks, and cleaning staff that are now are facing a living hell… They are moms, dads, sons and daughters.” he said. “It is brutal for those with young kids. For the sake of these families, please immediately take action.

“It is our one and only chance now to slow this pandemic.”

RELATED: Pregnant in a pandemic: Expectant B.C. moms change birth plans due to COVID-19

RELATED: Fraser Health limits hospital visitors to slow spread of COVID-19


@portmoodypigeon
patrick.penner@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

abbotsfordCoronavirusDoctors

Just Posted

Dooris Raad was last seen in South Surrey’s Ocean Park neighbourhood on June 7. (Surrey RCMP photo)
(James Smith photo)
North Delta crime beat, week of May 31

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

The Lower Mainland Green Team and students from Earl Marriott Secondary remove invasive plants from White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park. (Contributed photo)
Green Team returns to White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park to monitor previous work

Environmental volunteers, South Surrey students remove invasive species

People were lined up around the fields at a drop-in vaccine clinic at Newton Athletic Park on Tuesday (April 27, 2021), which is one of the high-transmission neighbourhoods that are being given vaccine priority. This clinic was one of at least three to open in the city on Tuesday. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s weekly cases continue to drop, push for 80% vaccination rate citywide

BCCDC reports 263 cases for Surrey the week of May 30 to June 5

Friends of Bear Creek Park held a ‘yellow-ribbon event’ on Saturday (June 12, 2021), with protesters at 84th Avenue and King George Boulevard and 84th Avenue and 140th Street. People were asked to tie a yellow ribbon in their yard “to celebrate and to show support for our trees in Bear Creek Park.” (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Protesters hold ‘yellow-ribbon’ event at Surrey’s Bear Creek Park

People asked to tie a yellow ribbon in their yard to ‘show support for our trees’

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read