EL PASO, Texas (KVIA): ABC-7 is revamping its weekly check-in segment with a doctor on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. Every week, anchor Mauricio Casillas will speak to Dr. Edward Michelson. Dr. Michelson is the chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine for Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
Here's the Q&A for Dec. 31:
Mauricio Casillas (KVIA): How has this past week gone for you?
Dr. Edward Michelson (Chairman, Dept. of Emergency medicine TTUHSC ): "Well, this past week has seen Christmas come and go. It was a quiet week across the community and it was pretty quiet in the emergency department."
Casillas: Can hospitals handle the current number of patients?
Michelson: "We can cope with an increase of patients, but we fervently hope that we don't have to."
Casillas: What should people at home be doing right now?
Michelson: "People at home should be keeping their guard up. They should continue to wear their masks. They should continue to avoid getting together in large groups so that we don't get Covid-19 in the new year."
Casillas: What is the most eye-opening thing you’ve seen this week?
Michelson: "The most exciting thing I've seen this past week is the rollout of the vaccinations. We continue to have more and more of our frontline and healthcare providers receiving the vaccines. I'm looking forward to getting my second dose next week. About 95 percent of my staff have now been vaccinated."
Casillas: What is your prediction for next week?
Michelson: My prediction for next week is I'm hoping the numbers stay down. I'm hoping the number of vaccine doses continues to be given, and I'm hoping for a good start to the new year."
Casillas: What is giving you hope at this time?
Michelson: "The thing giving me the most hope at this time is our low numbers in hospital. At a time when other cities are suffering and seeing big rises, we're very fortunate in El Paso -- hopefully -- to be beyond the worst of the pandemic."
Casillas: What is your message to the Borderland?
Michelson: "I want everyone to have a health, happy New Years. I want 2021 to be a much happier year, with fewer people getting sick. Everyone should stay safe. Wear your masks. Observe social distancing. We're encouraged by the arrival of vaccines, but we're not out of the woods yet."