Deutsch, who six years ago founded Cure Urgent Care, a boutique walk-in clinic with two locations in New York City, began seeing patients in January and February who had flu-like symptoms, but tested negative for the flu.
After being exposed in that timeframe, before medical professionals were instructed to use personal protective equipment (PPE), Deutsch became ill around March 13 and had pneumonia for two weeks.
“I was down for the count much more than anticipated,” he said. “It was a very unexpected experience.
“It was interesting to be a patient and a provider in uncharted territory,” Deutsch added. “It put a unique perspective for my care, having been ill and afraid.”
As soon as he was feeling better, he was back in the office, treating patients almost entirely for coronavirus.
Deutsch, who serves as clinical director for Cure Urgent Care, warned that New York City isn’t “out of the woods yet.” He said there will be second waves as restrictions are eased.
The emergency medicine doctor urged New Yorkers to maintain best practices consistently and wisely, including wearing PPE, not touching their face and washing hands.
“Every time you go out, you have to be thinking defensively from getting sick,” he said.
Deutsch said he feels strongly that everybody should be tested now “as a baseline,” including the antibody test to show who has had it.
He said New Yorkers should take the initiative to get tested for their own protection.
“It’s going to be a normalcy of going to the doctor for COVID check-ins,” he said.