SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The surge in coronavirus cases is proving very challenging for frontline health care workers-- and especially for one Northern California emergency room doctor.
Bay Area native and part-time doctor at UCSF, Dr. Taylor Nichols, spoke with ABC News about his recent encounter with a COVID-19 patient, adorned with swastika and Nazi tattoos on his chest.
Dr. Nichols, who is Jewish, explains how he and his team, a Black nurse and an Asian respiratory therapist at a Sacramento-area hospital, worked to treat the man just like they would any other coronavirus patient.
"We all knew what he thought of us. How he valued our lives. Yet here we were, working seamlessly as a team to make sure we gave him the best chance to survive that we could," he tweeted Monday.
"I see the SS tattoo and think about what he might think about having a Jewish physician taking care of him now, or how much he would have cared about my life if the roles were reversed."
Nichols posted a series of tweets about the encounter, detailing how the patient pleaded with the medical team, "Don't let me die, doc."
He says he's encountered patients like this before, "the swastikas, the racists," and always feels "a bit shaken."
However, Nichols affirms it doesn't change his mindset, saying "I went into this job wanting to save lives."