PALO ALTO (CBS SF) – It can be hard to imagine what it’s like facing the coronavirus on the front lines. A Bay Area doctor said the emotional toll on health care workers could linger long after the pandemic ends.

Dr. Shali Jain of the VA Palo Alto Health Care System said she is concerned not only about the physical well-being, but the emotional and mental health of workers who are helping coronavirus patients.

Jain believes they could deal with symptoms of PTSD for weeks and possibly months after the outbreak itself.

“Of course, you’re going to be there for your patients, you’re going to take care of your patients, you’re going to do your job. But does it mean at the risk of me getting sick or making my loved ones sick?” Jain told KPIX 5. “I think quandary is not something health care professionals in this country are used to dealing with day by day.”

Jain hopes health care workers will notice signs of distress and ask for help when needed.