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A message from Dr. Shani Fruchter

My name is Shani Fruchter. I am an acute care surgeon at NYU Langone in New York City.
I spent my afternoon going bedside to bedside saying viduy with members of our community.

This virus is dangerous. What is happening here in our city is scary. People are dying. Our community is dying.

No one is above this pandemic. No one is immune. This is a new virus that we have never seen. Young, old, no one is safe. There are healthy teenagers in the ICU on all sorts of life support fighting for their lives. Even those who have been infected are not immune. This virus has not been around long enough to know how we develop immunity. The virus is mutating, and it is possible to be reinfected with a different strain. Reports from China and Italy show that the second infection is more dangerous than the first.

These backyard minyanim, are killing our community. Tefillah bitzibur is not docheh pikuach nefesh. A physician may be michalel shabbos to save a life. He may not be michalel shabbos to daven with a minyan. The Eibishter will hear our tefillos from the safety of our home. He will NOT hear the tefillos of the murderers who are spreading this virus.

Gatherings of any sort are dangerous. The virus is spread from person to person – breathing, coughing, sneezing. It lives in the air and can travel 3-6 feet, it lives on inanimate objects for 3 days. Social distancing is the only way to halt the spread.

The ICUs are reaching capacity. The ventilators are running out. The morgues are full. The makeshift morgues are full. There are not enough physicians and nurses to care for our city’s ill. Wake up!

Shani Fruchter, DO
Clinical Assistant Professor
Acute Care Surgery
Department of Surgery
NYU Langone Hospitals



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