Local 4′s Dr. Frank McGeorge looks back on COVID pandemic on anniversary of first cases

Dr. Frank McGeorge looks back one year of coronavirus pandemic
Dr. Frank McGeorge looks back one year of coronavirus pandemic

DETROIT – It was exactly one year ago that Michigan officials announced the first cases of coronavirus had been confirmed in the state.

As an emergency room doctor, Local 4′s Dr. Frank McGeorge has been on the frontlines of the fight against COVID from the very beginning.

Hear from Dr. Frank McGeorge in the video above.

READ: 1 year into COVID: What we wish we’d known

McGeorge said the early weeks were a blur of shock, exhaustion and growing fear about the severity of the situation. He said there was so much we didn’t know about the virus, and a lot of what we thought we knew was changing each day.

While closures helped in some parts of Michigan -- in Southeast Michigan community spread was already happening. McGeorge worked as an emergency physician at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

He said after the first cases were confirmed, he cared for a man that he was certain had COVID. The man died in the hospital within a few days.

Because of McGeorge’s constant exposure, a decision was made that he would broadcast from home. He still hasn’t been live in the studio.

Over the first several weeks, many people he worked with became sick and tested positive. He said, looking back one of the biggest misjudgments was in the amount of asymptomatic spread. Our underestimate of asymptomatic spread is also what led to what he called his biggest regret. That it took more than 3 weeks to encourage broad mask use.

Masks were in limited supply at the start of the pandemic. The CDC’s early statement that they weren’t helpful was just wrong. It didn’t sit well with McGeorge then, and looking back, if he could change one thing -- He said that he would recommend masks much sooner.

READ: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reflects on COVID pandemic on anniversary of first cases


About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.