Mississippi Heroes of Covid-19: Gulfport ER Doc Says He’s Just Doing His Job
This is the first installment of our “Mississippi Heroes of Covid-19” series, where we highlight how various essential personnel — physicians, nurses, EMTs, police, military — are playing a role in dealing with the virus. If you are on the front lines of fighting Coronavirus, or know someone who is, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered for a future PKCares article.
Dr. Philip Levin has been selected as our first Mississippi Hero of Covid-19 because readers of Parents & Kids–South Mississippi might already be familiar with him. Over the years, Dr. Levin has contributed medical-related articles to our coast/pine belt region issues of the magazine. He was, of course, one of the first people we turned to in finding out how the Coronavirus pandemic is affecting local medical professionals.
An ER physician with 41 years of experience, Dr. Levin works at Memorial Hospital of Gulfport, which he described as “the Mississippi coast’s major trauma center.”
Dr. Levin stressed that his comments for Parents & Kids reflect his own personal opinions on things; he does not speak on behalf of the hospital.
“I perform 12-hour shifts seeing patients, some of whom will have the virus,” he said.
When asked how the people of Mississippi could make his job less stressful, Dr. Levin gave good advice.
“The Coronavirus is spread by aerosol. If everyone would wear a mask over their mouth and nose when out in public, that would decrease the spread considerably,” he said. “You can protect yourself and others by that simple action. Wear a mask.”
He added, however, that performing his work is just par for the course, whether during a pandemic or not.
“You don’t need to make my job easier. My job is my job, unchanged with the virus around or without it. I see people who are sick or in pain.”
How has COVID-19 affected Dr. Levin’s daily activities? Well, since he has no young children at home, it’s a bit easier than it would be for someone who has young school-aged kids to attend to due to classes being suspended. As it is with most people, however, his family has still had to make some accommodations.
“My family is self-quarantined,” he explained. “I work at the hospital and take appropriate precautions there, but feel comfortable returning to my family. I have weighed the risks of bringing the virus home as quite low, and the need for having the comfort of family life as higher than the risk.”
Thank goodness physicians such as Dr. Levin are giving comfort to us all, simply by showing up every day and doing the job of saving lives.