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Mayo Clinic health officials reflect on one year of COVID-19

Updated: Feb. 4, 2021 at 10:42 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KEYC) — It’s been one year since the World Health Organization declared that the novel coronavirus was a public health emergency of international concern.

Reflecting on the lessons of the past year, Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 task force chair in Rochester, Dr. Andrew Badley says one big discovery: antibody treatment from therapies like convalescent plasma.

“I grew up in the world of HIV. And in the world of HIV, to identify the virus, understand its molecular biology, test our first generation of agents and come up with drugs that work a little bit took a decade or so. That same process has occurred in less than a year for COVID,” said Badley.

Also of note is that the resilience of health care workers and the sheer speed of medical progress.

“Staff, how they supported each other. How they moved around from department to department. I’m hearing stories now of resiliency that I could never of imagined. What they did to maintain that resiliency. There willingness to be flexible and to learn,” said Pam White, nursing chief at the Mayo Clinic Health System at Eau Claire.

Badley also said one of the biggest lessons learned is how the virus has shined a light on societal inequities.

In addition, White says she believes one day when looking back at the pandemic, it will be the strength of healthcare workers that people will remember the most.

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