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Michigan Medicine Doctor Shares Lessons Learned And Looks Back One Year Later At The Pandemic

Payal Patel
Michigan Medicine

Michigan Medicine infectious disease specialist Dr. Payal Patel remembers exactly what was happening one year ago as the coronavirus pandemic was beginning.  She was just returning to work from maternity leave and recalls how stressful it was as they made the necessary preparations to deal with what was yet to come.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Dr. Patel about the impact of the pandemic on local health care providers and medical facilities and explains the differences in the now three available vaccines.

All one year later, since the pandemic began.

Payal Patel
Credit Michigan Medicine /
Dr. Payal Patel

Dr. Payal Patel says there have been a lot of lessons learned over the year-long pandemic.  She says it has shown it is never good to underestimate how importance of public health or to underfund the system.  She says infectious disease medical professionals think this could happen again, that it's inevitable, and we need to be better prepared for the next time.

Dr. Patel says it would be naive to think the end of the pandemic is here but adds she was encouraged by the relatively fast rollout of three vaccines and says, "We are making headway to getting more and more people vaccinated, which will help bring an end to the pandemic."

She says all three vaccines now available are doing a good job preventing hospitalization or death from the virus.  She says "the right move" is whatever vaccine you can get...get it now.  She says all three vaccines are recommended for most people.  She advises people talk to their doctors if they have any questions about it

Dr. Patel says the University of Michigan hospital still has some patients who got the virus a month or two ago, and there are fewer people now sick with COVID in the ICU but says they are still seeing cases, which makes it important to follow preventative measures and get vaccinated as soon as you can.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at

Lisa Barry was a reporter, and host of All Things Considered on 89.1 WEMU.
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