The doctor reveals that he suffered irrational panic and feared that his son would die after catching the virus

A well-known doctor known for updating his Twitter followers about the pandemic admitted that his ‘parental feeling’ made him panic when his 28-year-old son received COVID last week, despite the odds of a vaccinated young person dying is ‘near zero.’

Dr. Bob Wachter, chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, shared his journey by watching his son get coronavirus and recover in a series 25 tweets on Saturday.

He said his triple-vaccinated son is ‘generally healthy but overweight, which puts him in a moderate high-risk group.’

When he captured COVID after watching a movie with a friend, Dr. Wachter, that he often checked in on him, became concerned when a response came slowly, and even shut himself in his home to find him ‘sleeping … and breathing’.

COVID cases in San Francisco skyrocketed in December due to the more contagious Omicron variant, reaching a pandemic peak of 1,218 new daily cases earlier this month. Eighty-one percent of the city’s residents are vaccinated.

Dr.  Bob Wachter gave a play-by-play to find out his son got COVID, and worry about it, to his 244,000 Twitter followers last Saturday

Dr. Bob Wachter gave a play-by-play to find out his son got COVID, and worry about it, to his 244,000 Twitter followers last Saturday

Wachter described his son as overweight but healthy and said he was triple vaccinated

Wachter described his son as overweight but healthy and said he was triple vaccinated

Wachter described his son, whose name he did not share, as ‘quite cautious’ and said he even switched from two-layer fabric masks to KN95 masks at his father’s urging since the Omicron outbreak.

His song works in customer service in downtown San Francisco, Wachter wrote.

The doctor theorized that he got the virus from a fully vaccinated friend who ‘came over Monday night to watch a movie.

‘Wednesday morning (~ 36 hours later) he woke up and was feeling terrible. Sore throat, dry cough, muscle aches, chills. No taste / odor abnormalities. “I told him to stay home, drink fluids and take Tylenol or Advil,” Wachter said.

He described how local pharmacies were all out of quick tests, but he had a set ‘tucked away’.

Wachter ran the test outside with a nose graft while wearing an N95 mask, and it came back negative. He then wondered if it was a false negative.

Cases in San Francisco have skyrocketed in recent days

Cases in San Francisco have skyrocketed in recent days

He described that he would check on his son to make sure he was still breathing as science-based evidence gave in to

He described that he would check on his son to make sure he was still breathing as science-based evidence gave in to “parental feelings”

Dr.  Wachter is president of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco's Department of Medicine.  Above an aerial photo of the UCSF Medical Center in May 2021

Dr. Wachter is president of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco’s Department of Medicine. Above an aerial photo of the UCSF Medical Center in May 2021

His son then called around to get a PCR test, but the next available date was in four days.

‘So no help. I warmed up some chicken soup, bought an oximeter (97%, puha – even though his heart rate was 120: worrying) and asked him to call me if his symptoms changed or his O2 set dropped by <95%, 'said Wachter .

The next day I called him at 9 – no answer. My brain knows that the odds of a young person being fully exhausted dying are almost zero. Still, I briefly wondered if he had survived the night: evidence-based medicine meets parents’ feelings. I tried again at 10, but still no answer.

‘I let myself get into his place and found him asleep … and breathing.’

An hour later, Dr. Wachter’s son from his friend, who tested positive for COVID.

Wachter administered another rapid test on his son by wiping both his nose and throat, which has been reported as being a more definitive test method.

This time he tested positive.

Wachter said he felt ‘a strange guilt – not entirely rational, but real – for not having protected him.’

They canceled a PCR test. “Another case has been left out of the public domain,” the doctor wrote.

He then sat down to ‘find out his prognosis and whether the treatment was justified. I knew deep down that the chances of a bad case were low. But when it’s your child, you freak out a bit.

New COVID infections have hit a pandemic height due to the more contagious Omicron variant

Cases are still rising, but they are lower than they were at the beginning of the year

Deaths remain well below pandemic heights, as Omicron appears to be milder than other variants

He calculated his risk of hospitalization, based on his age and and other risk factors, at 2.3 percent, which he said was lowered by 80 percent thanks to his triple doses of Moderna and by 50 percent thanks to the ‘mildness’ of Omicron.

Wachter said he is only ‘slightly’ concerned about prolonged COVID, where people have been reporting COVID symptoms for more than a month because of the ‘messy’ literature on the lingering effects of the virus.

He warned his supporters about false negatives and praised vaccines for keeping his son safe.

‘Should he have seen movies with his friend? I think so – it seemed like a pretty safe meeting. But while Omi is rising, even low-risk things – things that were safe last month – can now be risky, ‘Wachter wrote.

“Given how fast this storm can pass, it seems wise to bend down a bit.”

San Francisco has seen increasing COVID cases, similar to the numbers in large parts of the country.

Finally, Dr.  Wachter that his son was happy to have met his friend, but urged people to avoid getting the variant

Finally, Dr. Wachter that his son was happy to have met his friend, but urged people to avoid getting the variant

The city reached a pandemic height of 1,218 new daily cases this month, well above the previous high of 373 cases in January 2021.

As COVID cases increase in California, Govin Newsom’s office announced that it had activated 200 members of the state National Guard to help staff with COVID test sites, according to the KTLA.

Of the 50 locations, 18 are in the counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura.

The United States as a whole has also reached a pandemic-high level of new cases, averaging more than 831,000 a day, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

About 73 percent of U.S. adults over the age of 18 are fully vaccinated, according to the agency.

Wachter was named ‘the most influential medical officer in the United States’ by Modern Healthcare Magazine in 2015.

He has written 300 articles and six books, according to his UCSF faculty page, and is considered the “father” of the hospitalist field, described by WebMD as physicians specializing in “providing hospital care.”

On Sunday, he updated his followers on his son.

“Better today, even though my throat is still bad. Many are feeling far worse. Yes, Twitter verses have some ugly people (& bots), but I’ve been more impressed with the kindness.

“Grateful to people who offered test kits – we grabbed a few so we were ready,” he wrote.

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