Local doctor heads to Armenia during a war in the middle of a global pandemic

A local doctor is answering the call for help from people in his homeland of Armenia.

He’s on his way to Armenia to help his people survive the first military conflict during this global pandemic.

RELATED: Armenia and Azerbaijan agree to humanitarian truce

Living during a global pandemic has been a struggle for many of everyone. Some have been dealing with health issues, many have lost income or have lost a job, and the uncertain political climate in an election year has left many of us feeling powerless.

One local doctor is turning that sense of powerlessness around.

He’s heard the call for help from people who live where his own ancestors came from.

So, he’s joining his fellow Armenians from all corners of the world to answer that call.

RELATEDContinuing coverage of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan

"This is one of my suitcases I will be taking --  this is a toy my two-year-old daughter dropped in my suitcase this morning,” said Dr. George Melikian with a smile.

Dr. George Melikian is getting ready to make a house call in Armenia.

Seven thousand miles away from his home in the San Fernando Valley. 

"The situation is critical. Hospitals are looking at 70/80 admissions in a day which is way beyond the bandwidth of what generally is tolerable," said Dr. Melikian.

Dr. Melikian is an infectious disease specialist.

He says the situation he is about to step into is unlike anything he’s ever faced. He is going into a war zone, in the middle of a global pandemic.

"War and infectious disease mix together to make things a hundred times worse than each one of them individually,” said Dr. Melikian.

But despite the danger, he says he feels a deep sense of duty.

"We are alone right now, we are sandwiched between two countries, between Azerbaijan and Turkey, which we have a long and painful history with, and this is opening up old wounds again,” said Dr. GeMelikian.

He’s talking about the Armenian Genocide of 1915. As a result, Thao who survived escaped to all corners of the world.

And now, they’re heeding the call to return To help them in their greatest hour of need since the genocide.

"Every pair of hands counts, everyone contributes,” said Dr. Melikian.

Dr. Melikian’s wife says she is incredibly proud of him for making this sacrifice.“But it is really scary, I am scared for him and for the people there. On both sides. The terror and the pain that they are all experiencing.” 

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