Masks 😷 goggles 🥽 Enter.
“I feel sick cuz…(sigh) COVID.”
All the unslept hours
The moon flickered into the dark hallway. The kids tucked asleep.
“How many minutes were you in that room?” he asked.
“An hour.” I answered, from upstairs.
“How many patients?”
“You were how close?”
“Right next to them.”
“Every choice I make, I know I could bring the virus home. You have to be methodical…”
His feet paced the hard wood floor.
“Listen to the chest. Assess. Leave door open for ventilation. Keep distance. Write notes outside the room.”
“I don’t have that luxury; as a nurse, I need to be with the patient. Our situations are incomparable.”
Shortly after, a journal article landed on my desk.
“Resurgence of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in a Highly Vaccinated Health System Workforce.” (The New England Journal of Medicine)
I skimmed the title but refused to read the rest, not at that hour.
Later, I realized that several of my colleagues and I had an exposure. We stood sweating outside in a line for COVID testing.
But then my husband and I were the only ones who tested positive.
This couldn’t be real.
“MAMA!” my daughter shrieked in the crib.
“AHH!!” my head darted up, startled from my nightmare.
Wait, do I have COVID?
Do I? Do I not?
It’s these sleepless nights that haunt me.
~ ~ ~
Variants of Sars-CoV-2 continue to spread in unvaccinated individuals. If you are not vaccinated, the Delta variant is more infectious than prior variants, infecting 6-7 ppl at a time.
Additionally, unvaccinated people are 11x more likely to die from covid compared to the vaccinated. Two months ago, my cousin-in-law, a young healthy guy, didn’t think COVID was serious; so he didn’t get vaccinated. Then one day, my cousin (his wife) found him struggling to breathe- she called 911. He was admitted to the ICU. He fought for his life against COVID and survived, but now his lungs are so weak, and he’s on oxygen at home.
Don’t wait till it’s too late.
Please, share this with a friend or family member.
Unfortunately universally true experience in healthcare right now. We will all joke with each other:
“How’s it going?”
“Living the dream. Still a nightmare though.”
I will walk the floors and several times a day have a conversation that becomes a mini-therapy session. Sometimes we compare notes about what our Covid experiences were like as caregivers, as family, as patients. Sometimes we talk about how we’re afraid or relieved about what happens with our kids. Sometimes it is about the most recent colleague who left… or more commonly those that just got sick. Every time it is raw and tough to hear. Every time I am glad to listen, even if we carry a piece of each other’s burden home.
“living the dream. still a nightmare though.”
so well said.
thank you for reading and listening… our burdens are so heavy , but i’m glad that we are not alone in carrying them.