Dr. Scott Samlan surprised David Begnaud of “CBS This Morning“ in a big way on April 1. Like the other front-line physicians, nurses, technicians, and therapists who are fighting every second against the ruthless siege from the coronavirus, Scott Samlan doesn't have a spare minute. Nonetheless, the dedicated father and trauma physician took just over 5 minutes to give “CBS This Morning,” Begnaud, and millions watching a glimpse of his day.

Dr. Samlan likely hears the praise of strangers, like his colleagues, lifting everyone in the medical arena up as heroes and angels in this unprecedented battle with an utterly sinister and unseen foe.

The words are completely merited, but Scott Samlan would prefer other, more simple words from the heart. He is fighting for the lives of his patients and for a future with his children.

Scott Samlan doesn’t call his work a job

“This is the most scared I've ever been being an ER doctor,” Scott Samlan begins the interview via cyberspace video. The doctor from Chicago's Mount Sinai Hospital stresses that his concern is not for himself but because “I've got a wife and a two-year-old and a one-year-old at home.” He pauses poignantly, unaware from his vantage that a Samlan family photo is being shared with the world. The smiles between the doctor and his wife, each holding a precious sleeping and smiling child, copy one another’s.

“I don't want to expose them,” he explains as his face grows more somber.

Suddenly, in the vortex of the COVID-19 vengeance, grocers, postal carriers, delivery services, and neighbors we view through windows, without thinking until now, are front-line warriors for survival to many in need. Scott Samlan sees his work as far above a vocation.

“People say it's our job. It's not our job. It's our duty. It's what we signed up for,” he bluntly described. David Begnaud earned personal and professional acclaim for “CBS This Morning” through his moving profiles from the ground in the wake of the Puerto Rico hurricanes. Dr. Samlan demonstrated that the force of destruction from the virus enemy is every bit as much of a storm.

Coronavirus takes a patient during the minutes of talking to Dr. Scott Samlan

It was no stretch at all for Scott Samlan to say that “60 to 70%” of the patients he treats every day are positive for COVID-19. The Mount Sinai Hospital ER has adopted the stance that every patient presenting with respiratory symptoms is treated as though they are positive for coronavirus.

The doctor demonstrated examining a patient using a clear plastic box that the medical staff custom fabricated with a local plastics manufacturer. It limits any direct, face-to-face contact, but nothing is foolproof. The hospital is low on personal protective equipment (PPE) and Scott Samlan confirmed that masks are stored in paper bags to be used throughout a shift.

Home Depot released news today (April 1) that its sales of N-95 masks for construction use will be temporarily halted and the protective gear will be donated to hospitals and first responders. Every little bit helps, especially since the Defense Production Act provisions have not yet been activated in full force.

That fact is a sore subject for Dr. David Scodeller, another doctor who works with Scott Samlan. Scodeller uses a respirator from his former job, and a filter was given to him by his father in construction. The doctor doesn't hide feeling “frustrated” by CDC guidelines that have loosened proper equipment requirements. He points out that he now has a bandanna in his pocket. “It feels like the government let us down,” the weary co-worker lashes.

Scott Samlan relates how he and his colleagues must “deductive reasoning” to ascertain COVID-19. The team compares normal white counts, evidence of Lymphopenia, and x-rays to confirm the disease. There is no time to wait three days for test results. Every second counts and one patient proved that harsh truth before the five-minute interview concluded.

Within seconds of arriving at the hospital, a team in the next room was already performing CPR on the patient. David Begnaud could not conceal his shock at the brutal reality in the moment. A few seconds later, Scott Samlan reported: “they’re dead.” As in Italy, New York, Spain, and countless other points on the planet, the time for mourning must be later, because patients arrive minute by minute.

Scodeller describes that the saddest part is that patients “die alone” because they have to remain in isolation.

Staying home and a simple ‘How are you?’ matter to Scott Samlan

Any amount of added PPE and any bit of respite from the coronavirus rampage matters to a doctor. Scott Samlan would welcome those, and yet prefers something even more simple and human.

First of all, he admonishes “Stay home. This is the real deal.” The follow-up recommendation from Samlan is just to give a caring word or text to any medical worker or first responder known.

“How are you? Love you. Thank you. God bless you,” are simple words not spoken enough for Scott Samlan and so many front-line forces worldwide doing their best to flatten the curve.

David Begnaud scooted in closer to his camera and said: “On behalf of a grateful country, thank you.” A tired but appreciative smile came from Dr. Scott Samlan, “Thanks, David.”

This “CBS This Morning” segment was a jolt of reality different than the purely uplifting pulse from a few other morning TV Shows, but it is sure to spark a new flow of appreciation and a few of those simple words of gratitude.

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