March 28, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely proven how powerful Facebook physician groups are. There are three main COVID-19 MD-only Facebook groups, and the clinical discussions, mutual assistance and advice is phenomenal. These are doctors helping other doctors, because we are all trying to save our communities. I was Zoom chatting with engineers from Hewlett Packard yesterday, and they were asking for information on what designs and equipment the medical community needed. I honestly told them, everything is on these Facebook groups. CNN is at least 48 hours behind these groups.
But one of the primary COVID-19 MD Facebook groups has 21,000 members! It can be a whirlwind of journal articles, posts, tutorial videos on how to make PPE and comments. There are journalist on the fringes, friends or spouses of members, and suddenly a post will receive a few comments and is then featured on a major news outlet. This is usually with permission of the commenters of course. You can see the pandemic coming toward you, as MDs from the current hot spots give us a preview of what is to come. One post that has been shared and copied multiple times has mentioned that on “Day 10 of illness Cytokine storm leading to acute ARDS and multiorgan failure. You can literally watch it happen in a matter of hours,” wrote the internist.