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Black doctor said he was “scared” after the protest, coronavirus



Black doctor said he was "scared" after the protest, coronavirus

Darien Sutton-Ramsey, 32, fought against COVID-19 as an ER doctor, but worried about his own life as a black man traveling to and from his hospital in Queens. When many of his fellow health care workers took to the streets after the death of George Floyd, protesting as part of the “White Coat for Black Life” movement, Sutton told The Post about his experience of being a color doctor, his personal decision to protest police brutality and why he grappled with risk of COVID spreading during the march.

I always operate in the duality of being a black man and a doctor, but this is a very strange time for me.

I have fought a pandemic in the trenches: I have intubated people, put on ventilation and exposed myself to this virus.

But I have not felt more fear and anxiety during this pandemic than when I realized that I could be killed without a just cause. I felt this especially when I had to go home from the hospital after 8 pm. curfew.

Darien Sutton-Ramsey
Darien Sutton-RamseyCourtesy

When I got into my car after eight hours of shifting (which could end at any time because of our 24-hour schedule) I took out my hospital badge, which said “Doctor” in big letters, bold letters, and I stuck it on my left shoulder. That way, if I pull over, people who come to my window will see my ID and I can absorb some of those privileges.

It would be nice if I could discuss this with other black doctors. But there is no place I work now. We got an email from the department about “this will be safe, we will make it easy for you to go to and from the office.” But actually there was one black doctor who was scared, and that was me.

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Unfortunately, this feeling is not new. I have struggled with being black and becoming a doctor since before medical school.

I grew up in New York City, and I am the son of a criminal defense attorney. He is the definition of “wake up” before it is hashtag. He was the one who took me to the museum in Washington to understand slavery, and to show me the violations and mutilation of slaves.

My father helped me understand that the white coat I would get was not always something that was used for good. When you look at its history, white coats have been worn by doctors who committed significant atrocities, from studies of obstetrics and gynecology in the wombs of slaves to research conducted on young children during the Holocaust.

He told me that it was my duty to wear white coats and prevent cruelty to people who did not have a voice.

When it comes to protests that began two weeks ago, I certainly experienced the evolution of my understanding of them.

Darien Sutton-Ramsey
Darien Sutton-RamseyCourtesy

Of course, I always support the cause. The protest was successful. The reason that I am the person I have – that I am an educator and work as a doctor – is impossible if no one protests black life for years.

However, I struggle with the idea that people are outside in close contact, especially people of color who fight for this goal but who are also disproportionately affected by the virus.

I was reminded that even during the height of the pandemic, family members were willing to risk infection to hold the hands of their loved ones when they were dying – even though they were very contagious. I will never stop someone to do that. I think that’s what we are experiencing now at the national level.

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The extraordinary part about medicine is that my job is to help you understand your risks, and learn how to reduce and treat them. From that framework, I understand that your rights are at the forefront, your risk of death is at the forefront and if you want to protest I will not stop you. I would say, “This is a mask, this is hand sanitizer, let’s talk.”

In the end, I attended the protest in a personal capacity, without a white coat. I don’t want people to feel like they have to go outside and protest during a pandemic because they see doctors doing it. It’s like seeing a doctor smoking. But I realized that I could not protest.

Last week, I made a Zoom call with my colleagues, and they talked about a new study that I hadn’t seen. The next day, I saw another study in the news about how people under the age of 40 were affected by COVID. I thought, “How do I miss the others?”

Darien Sutton-Ramsey
Darien Sutton-RamseyCourtesy

I realized that for the past three days, I had bent over my phone, read about the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and also read about how if I were pinned to the ground, how should I position me so I could breathe. I was thinking about what if someone broke into my apartment, if I could shout that I was a doctor to absorb that privilege, and stop my death from happening.

Part of the weight that you carry as a colored person is trying to reduce your own risk of death. My colleague doesn’t need to worry about that. They may care, but they don’t see themselves portrayed on the screen in the viral video, stuck to the ground. They do not see these people as their mothers and fathers.

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I don’t wear a mask when the sun goes down – which is crazy to be called a doctor against a pandemic, which has no virus antibodies. But I do that so that someone can see my face completely – see that I am human – and not put a bullet in my chest.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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