MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A local doctor offers words of caution as Minnesota transitions from the stay-at-home order to Stay Safe. The President of the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians has seen the impact COVID-19 has had on patients. And she hopes people continue to be vigilant in their choices.

Dr. Renee Crichlow is a full spectrum family physician working at North Memorial in Robbinsdale. She’s there delivering babies and responding in the ICU.

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“I wear this for droplet protection. I wear this so I don’t touch my eyes. And I wear this to complete it,” Dr. Crichlow said putting on a mask, eye protection and a face shield. “And the thing is we wear this in patient to protect our patients and to protect each other.”

She’s primarily on the non-COVID floors but has come into contact with positive patients.

There’s one she says will stay with her forever. She helped a man connect with his family by phone. And then gasp for breath.

“That’s the suffering of it that really gets to you. The moment someone becomes terrified that they might die. You also know they might be in danger of dying,” Crichlow said.

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That dad didn’t make it.

Dr. Crichlow has seen the sorrow and the triumphs. And she equates the move from stay-at-home to Stay Safe to how they practice medicine.

“When I’m in the ICU if we’re giving someone a drip of medication, if we turn it up and the response is not good, we turn it back down. You make the adjustments, you monitor it and you adjust as indicated by the results,” Dr. Crichlow said.

She says she wears a mask in public to protect others. Based on her experience on the frontline during the pandemic, she asks people to do the same and think about choices going forward.

Don’t do the things you don’t absolutely have to do. There may be things you want to do and those are probably going to be allowed. But each time think is this worth me either spreading this virus or getting this virus,” Dr. Crichlow said.

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Her motto during this time is contact spreads virus, masks spread love.

Jennifer Mayerle