ST. LOUIS ( -- A local doctor who posted an eye-opening video about what the final moments of COVID-19 look like is trying to get people to wear masks and observe social distancing. 

The video, posted by Dr. Kenneth Remy, has been viewed more than 55,000 times. 

Dr. Remy, an adult and pediatric critical care physician, has treated more than a thousand COVID-19 patients at BJC hospitals since March.

They range in age from five to 98 years old. In the last week, he said he's called 11 families to tell them their loved ones didn't make it.

"If you can imagine having to pick up the phone in the middle of the night and say hello to someone you've never met before and then to let them know their loved one just died, and then to have that pause and to hear crying or screaming on the other end of the phone is certainly defeating," he said. "It's defeating because this person yesterday was potentially walking around and a grandparent or parent and they're not going to be here tomorrow."

Dr. Remy said he felt compelled to record that video and post it to Twitter after telling a COVID-19 patient's family their loved one didn't make it. He spends most of his time treating patients at St. Louis children's, Barnes Jewish hospital and Missouri Baptist.

Those experiences are why he made a public plea to the community to social distance and wear masks.

"At this present time the only way I can keep people safe and not have to look into their eyes as I put a breathing tube in to help their life and prevent them from dying is, frankly, hoping that they don't get he disease and that's what spurred me to make the video," he said.

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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