My friend, Vermonter Annika McCann, posted this photo of herself to her Facebook page recently under the heading, “This is my new day job.”
Here’s her story
In addition to my CBD business (Primal Botanical), I work as a nurse.
In response to this novel coronavirus, my hospital hastily converted its day surgery unit into the new respiratory isolation unit – a negative pressure area (meaning no air escapes from the unit without being filtered) with a temporary double-door airlock.
This is where patients with suspected COVID-19 needing hospitalization go until their test results are back, and where patients who test positive will stay. So far we have had no positive tests within the hospital – but the surge is coming.
Here’s how my day now goes.
We enter in full protective gear: N95 mask with a surgical mask over it, face shield, shoe covers, hat, gown, double gloves. Anything we bring inside the unit cannot be brought out, so no pens, phones, paperwork. When leaving the unit, we remove all our protective garb inside the double-door tent entrance to the unit – that is, everything but our precious N95 masks. N95s are made to be worn once and thrown away.
Last week we were told we could wear them for eight hours. Now we are told to wear the same mask every day. I feel lucky to have an N95 to wear – in many other hospitals they are less fortunate.
I am in awe of the bravery Annika and each of our health care professionals show every day. As of this writing, 50 doctors in Italy have died from this virus. A recent article in the New York Times spoke specifically to this: Nurses Die, Doctors Fall Sick . . .
I have a vision.
It’s a vision of a new world, one where we gather along the curbs to watch the passing parade, just like we did as children. But instead of the weapons of war that we are seeing more and more often in our parades, I see the nurses, the orderlies, the doctors, the Nurse Practitioners, the Physician Assistants, and the administrators who continued to work each day saving lives, march by.
I see the first responders, so many of whom have already caught this dreaded disease and died, together on a float, waving to the cheering crowds.
I see the many heroes of a new age when bravery, self-sacrifice, dedication to a cause greater than ourselves is recognized and honored and rewarded.
And I see me stand and salute them all as they walk by.
I hope you’ll join me.
I see a world in which folks care more about what unites them than what divides them. And here’s as good a place to begin as any.
How about you? How are you doing?