Coronavirus Update New York City: NYC doctors reflect on 1 year of COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus update for NYC
NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- As a mass vaccination effort is underway for the world to seek a return to normal, two doctors who worked the front lines last March are reflecting on the year.

Dr. Matthew Bai made a video diary in March 2020 after he finished a 12-hour shift at Mount Sinai.

In the video, he detailed his exhaustion and how more than 60 patients with COVID-19 were waiting for beds.

Dr. Kaedrea Jackson also had her hands full and shared her own video diary.

Now one year later, Eyewitness News touched base with them both.

Bai admitted he has never looked back at his video.

"It was a dark time for everyone and I just, I'm not mentally ready to revisit that," Bai said.

The early days of the pandemic in the Tri-State area were filled with so much uncertainty.

And while many physicians made the difficult choice to leave, they stayed.

"When you're overwhelmed, you're going to ask yourself is this right, but each time, it was right for me," Jackson said.

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As the halls filled with critically ill patients, for the safety of his family, Bai made the decision to live apart.

"I don't know how long it's going to be but I just left the house and said goodbye," he said in his video diary.

Six weeks later he was finally reunited with his family and got to see the daughter he became used to talking to on FaceTime.

"She runs over, sees me and freezes for a second, like wait you are here in person, a few seconds later she runs up and gives me a big hug," Bai said.

Dr. Jackson took every precaution and stayed with her family.

"For my mental health, with everything I was dealing with at work, I needed to see them, they were my escape," Jackson said.

With those devastating days now in their rear view, they are left to reflect.

"Personally I realized I was able to push through a lot more than I thought I could," Bai said.

They proudly remembered moments when they came together as a team and saved lives...while staying with others until the very end.

"There are so many people who are no longer with their loved ones, so it just made me more appreciative of just being here, no matter how bad the days is," Jackson said.

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