Doctors treating unvaccinated Covid patients are succumbing to compassion fatigue

Exhausted healthcare workers admit they feel demoralized as the fourth surge spreads across the US

Last February, Dr Bryce Meck, 30, would lock herself in the bathroom to cry for five minutes when her patients, whom she had watched over for weeks in the medical intensive care unit, were dying from Covid-19. They begged her to tell people in their community to get vaccinated. Of the 20 patients with Covid-19 in her care, only three survived.

Each week, Meck’s frustration grew when she saw patients in a Columbia, Missouri, primary care clinic. They expressed vaccine hesitancy, shared misinformation or told her that their friends were pressuring them to remain unvaccinated. “If only the patients in the clinic could just meet the people who are suffering in the hospital,” said Meck, who continues to experience long-term effects of the virus herself.

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