COVID is serious — ask a nurse!

Published: 12/8/2020 2:50:49 PM

To the editor:

I keep trying to write a letter describing the things I have seen in my last month working on my hospital’s COVID unit. I keep revising or deleting it, because I have both too much to say and the sinking feeling that it will fall on deaf ears.

I’ll leave it at this:

If you haven’t cried with a pregnant COVID patient who is scared for her baby, I don’t want to hear your excuse for why it was okay to have a big Thanksgiving dinner with your extended family.

If you haven’t joked and laughed with a patient at 6 only to send them to the ICU by 12, I don’t want to hear your complaints about social distancing at the grocery store checkout.

If you haven’t held up the iPad so that a family can try to convince their mom to keep fighting via video call, I don’t want to hear how it’s just a bad flu.

If you haven’t wheeled the body of a man who died alone to the morgue this week, I don’t want to hear about how you refuse to wear a mask in public.

It’s been a long month. My hospital has opened two additional COVID units, both of which filled almost immediately. I took care of a patient yesterday who had been in the emergency room for two days because there was nowhere else to put her. This is the highest our COVID census has been since the start of this pandemic.

When you’re making decisions in the coming weeks about what your holiday season will look like, think of the healthcare workers in your life. We are tired. I am tired.

PS, the mask goes over your damn nose.


Emily Yurcak is a Wilton-Lyndeborough Class of 2015 graduate working as a nurse in Winchester, Virginia.


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