Post From a Healthcare Worker
When I get to work I put on the p-95 respirator my husband made sure I got and do my best not to take it off for 12 hours. And mind you I'm being mandated to work a fourth 12 hour shift every week.
While I'm at work, I'm sometimes within inches of an infected patient fighting for their life while I do my best to stand between them and death.
When my shift is over my face is red, and dented. My mouth is dry, my hands are worse and my back is a wreck.
Once I make it home, we've made a makeshift area on our back landing so I can strip and take my work clothes straight to the wash and spray down the area before I come into the house and get straight into the shower. The extra hot water and double scrubbing I'm doing isnt helping my dry skin and now dried out hair.
My coworkers and I have morbid/dark humor conversations about what we want done if we wind up sick and vented ourselves. We admit to each other that we cry on our way into work. And then share what songs we play as loud as we can to get our game faces back on before walking in.
I haven't kissed my husband in almost a month. I haven't worn my wedding rings for fear of bringing home this virus in the nooks and crannies of the gold and diamonds. My husband helped me cut off 10 inches of my hair so it will make a smaller bun and I can cover it more easily.
Every one of you that's pissed and not following the guidelines is essentially stabbing me in the back right now. People want to call me a hero....I don't want to be a hero. I don't want to be a sacrifice to an ill-prepared government and corporate greed. Don't applaud me and then turn around and ignore all the science that tells you how to keep you, and by extension me, safe.
Stay home. I know it's miserable. But what's more miserable is watching your patient die alone. Fighting like hell to keep someone my age alive on a vent and 5 drips. Putting toe tags on someone way too young to die and then listening to your ICU fellow make that phone call....hearing the wails of grief even from across the desk.
Help yourself. Help all of us breaking our necks to keep people alive. I promise you can plant plenty of gardens, travel to your vacation homes and tool around so much easier when you're alive.....and not in an overcrowded morgue headed for cremation. All because you couldn't stay at home.