ICU doctor mimics final moments before death from COVID-19

A St. Louis doctor acted out a sobering first-person view of what it looks like to die from COVID-19, saying he hopes the footage compels more people to wear masks.

Dr. Kenneth E. Remy — a critical care physician who also serves as a city councilman in Wildwood, Missouri — posted the 88-second video Saturday to show the “dire” circumstances anyone could face if they don’t take the escalating coronavirus crisis seriously.

“This is what it looks like when you breathe 40 times a minute, have an oxygen level that’s dipping well below 80,” Remy says in the clip, as he then holds a tube above the camera to simulate what a patient sees when they are about to be hooked up to a ventilator.

“This is what it’s going to look like. I hope that the last moments of your life don’t look like this. Because this is what you’ll see at the end of your life if we don’t start wearing masks when we’re out in public.”

Remy finishes the harrowing clip by urging people to wear masks, practice social distancing, and to wash their hands frequently.

“Because I promise you, this will be what you see,” he reiterates. “I promise you, this is what your mother, or your father, or your children when they get COVID disease, will see at the end of their lives. This is serious.”

The virus has so far killed 3,750 Missouri residents and infected nearly 279,000 others as of Tuesday, state data shows.

In St. Louis, where Remy shot his video at an ICU unit in the Missouri Baptist Medical Center, the number of coronavirus cases, hospital stays and deaths have hit record highs in the past 10 days, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Remy said he made the impassioned plea with people in mind who refuse to wear masks or opt not to don them as a political statement.

“Wearing a mask and not getting the disease is the best way for you to protect your personal liberties,” Remy told the newspaper.

“Your personal liberty won’t matter to you when I put a breathing tube in you, and then you die.”

He added that he had to tell 11 families in the past week that their relatives succumbed to COVID-19.

“It’s the worst way to ever start a conversation,” Remy said.

The United States has reported more than 12.4 million cases of COVID-19, resulting in at least 258,666 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins university data.

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