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Central Georgia doctors look back on one-year fight against COVID-19

The first COVID-19 case in Georgia was detected on March 2, 2020. Doctors and nurses reflect on the experience and what drives them to keep helping.

March 2 marked one year since the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in Georgia.

Chief Medical Officer at Houston Healthcare Doctor Dan Stewart spent the past year studying the best treatments for COVID-19 patients.

He then shared that information with doctors.

“It was also scary, cause we really were shooting in the dark in those first few days,” said Stewart.

He compared the first few months to war time.

“This is what we train for, but it's still stressful and you're putting your lives on the line too,” he said.

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Doctor Jennifer Hoffman specializes in Infectious Disease at Coliseum Medical Center and works with COVID-19 patients directly. She also felt like it was her duty to show up, despite the risks.

“This is my World War II. It's my moment for my generation of doctors to step up,” said Hoffman.

In the beginning she says she felt helpless, because of the lack of information on how to treat patients properly.

“All I could do is watch people suffer and hope they get better, and a lot of the times they didn't, that was hard.”

Hoffman hopes her resilience despite the circumstances, will encourage her kids to do the same thing one day.

“I'm proud of my contribution honestly. I'm proud of what I've done.”

Coliseum Medical Centers’ ICU nurse, Holly Goodman, says she is also proud of her efforts.

“Somebody needed to help fight for the patients,” said Goodman.

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Goodman says nurses have provided more than just medical care, but also emotional support.

“You're a part of that family, and you suffer the loss right with them,” she said.

It's why support from the community has made all the difference.

“It was a relief and blessing to have everyone encouraging you that way.”

The road to recovery is far from over, but Stewart says the future looks bright.

“When this is all over with, we're gonna have a huge party, a huge celebration.”