Dr. Davey Smith, a Professor and Chief of Infectious Diseases at UC San Diego, firmly believes that a scientific response is the only way out of this pandemic, specifically by conducting rigorous clinical trials. Davey begins filming video diaries just as the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to surge in California. Over the course of three months, Smith shares how he juggles his increasingly busy ward rounds and a clinical trial studying hydroxychloroquine, a controversial and politically polarizing drug claimed to be able to treat COVID-19. “The science doesn’t care about politics. It doesn’t care whether you are a Republican or a Democrat. It only cares about finding out the truth,” Smith said.
Globally, the fight against the coronavirus pandemic has depleted resources, resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and put continued strain on health care workers who are on the frontlines of the crisis. Doctors and nurses are fighting for the lives of their patients, helping some make it back to their families and witnessing others succumb to their symptoms, which all takes a serious mental and physical toll.
The science doesn’t care about politics.
Global Health Reporting Center’s video series “A Diary From the Frontline” spotlights the efforts of four health care workers from the U.S., the UK and Italy. Philadelphia nurse Sheena Williams finds herself at a crossroads when national protests over systemic racism and police brutality came amid calls for Americans to stay home. San Diego’s Dr. Davey Smith is balancing clinical trials of a potential COVID-19 treatment and hospital rounds. British nurse Alison Harris has seen her role shift to caring and intubating critically ill patients. And Dr. Giuliana Battagin from Italy, who tested positive for COVID-19 early on, has had to put aside her work as an infectious disease doctor to stay home and quarantine – where she spent her time documenting her family’s journey.