Azrieli Students Helping to Fight Corona

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student volunteer

Azrieli Faculty students – like all of us – are adapting to the new reality, Covid-19. On March 13, 2020 a call for volunteers went out and Azrieli medical students indeed jumped right in.

Magen David Adom quickly trained the students in how to properly protect themselves and do Corona testing. Then, with a rental car, they began their work on March 15, 2020. Activity grew and grew, until eventually the national Corona "drive ins" were set up, and the IDF stepped in with a fresh source of manpower. Omri Cohen, a three-year track student who was at the helm of the initiative, mentioned how challenging the beginning was, with endless work, but how at some point everyone functioned "on autopilot." He tells of doing testing at a Bnei Brak old age home after Pesach, and struggling with the cultural challenges and physical discomfort of the protective gear.

Some students found themselves helping out at a local hospital, doing triage at the ER, and others working with the elderly who live alone at home.  Those with lab experience were recruited to help in the laboratories. And of course, "Physicians Assistant" has become a household word, with the Ministry of Health calling on medical students to help out professionally in this capacity with the epidemic.

Pre-clinical studies have continued, albeit online, and even solutions to online clinical learning are being initiated, in order to continue keeping pace with the academic requirements and not lose previous time.

In the beginning, many students found themselves asking many questions, due to the uncertainty – should I be leaving my apartment in the north? Where should I spend Pesach, risk my family's health if I go home? But a new rhythm seems to be falling into place.

As Omri Cohen said, "We are a country that is used to emergencies. We are fighters. This is just another war we are fighting, and I feel like I am in miluim [reserve duty]."

We wish them health and success in their studies and endeavors.

Photo credit: דין אריאל, התאחדות הסטודנטים לרפואה בישראל