If you have read my posts you know I am a retired surgeon. Last week the call went out asking retired physicians to volunteer during this crisis. Not to deal with CoVid-19 patients but to help alleviate the workload of current Docs dealing with the surge of patients. I went to a meeting today at one of our local hospitals to entertain that possibility. While there, I learned that they were “mandated” (not sure who could do this) to hold 150 beds open for CoVid-19 treatment. Thus the hospital is half empty. No elective surgeries, no echos, no endoscopy, etc. Well ... with half the hospital empty they have laid off or furloughed roughly 1/2 of their hourly workers. Housekeeping, food service, ER nurses, phlebotomists, CRNA’s, sonographers, etc. One CRNA told me he only worked 12 hours last week. Some may be salaried but he is hourly with his particular anesthesia group he works for. He normally is needed for things like hip replacements, hernia repairs, etc. Last week he did only intubations. So his pay was cut to less than 1/3 normal. At least he got to keep his insurance. Some of the workers who became part timers probably lost their benefits. He told me he can’t pay his mortgage, etc. on 12 hours a week. To top it off, his wife is a diabetes nutrition counselor and she was just plain furloughed. Diabetics problems will not go away because of this virus - they still need her. Yet they want us old retired Docs to come in and work pro bono. I am sure our hospital is not unique in this problem. Honestly, I had not considered this at all. I thought it would be all hands on deck in hospitals right now. I am still not sure what to do. I want to help and would be in a complete different section of the building from the Corona patients dealing with things like falls, car accidents, etc. They have two separate ER’s set up sort of. On the other hand, I feel like I should support those workers who are getting hours cut or laid off. It’s a conundrum.