Doctor has message for COVID-19 doubters and non-maskers

▶ Watch Video: Health care workers facing record hospitalizations amid pandemic

The United States recorded more than 3,000 coronavirus deaths on Thursday, according to figures from the COVID Tracking Project. A record 107,000 people are hospitalized with the virus. 

So far, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of over 294,000 people in the U.S., Johns Hopkins reported. This is the second day in a row that more than 3,000 people have died from the virus. 

The horrifying death toll includes names like 29-year-old Stephanie Smith. She was about to be married and should have been on her honeymoon the day she died.

“As physicians, we’ve been trained to help people. And it’s really hard right now to feel helpless,” Dr. Shirley Xie, associate division director of hospital medicine at Hennepin Healthcare in Minnesota, told CBS News.

Xie says if only the doubters and non-maskers could spend one day like she does.

“Take a walk in my shoes,” she said tearfully. “You get on that phone and you call the son to tell him that his father, who had grown up alone and an orphan, died the same way because I couldn’t get into the room soon enough to hold his hand while he passed away. I’m not somebody’s family. I can’t ever become their family.”

“I can’t talk to a patient without a mask on,” Xie added. “I can’t touch them without gloves on, and you know they die and they never see our faces.” 

Xie says hospitals can find more beds, but they are out of health care workers.

“We can’t call on anyone to help us if we run out of staff to take patients,” she said. “If we stop masking or if we stop distancing, we’re going to lose so many more people before we get to the end.”

Meawnwhile, if 3,000 people continue to die each day from COVID-19, by Christmas Day 42,000 will have lost their lives. That number would fill Houston’s Major League Baseball stadium.

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