A Covid Story

Tue, 07/07/2020 - 08:54 -- Silis

I saw on the news that people were protesting wearing the cloth masks in public spaces because it violated their rights.

Now I am sure it took a lot of inbreeding and cough syrup meth to produce this kind of person and as much as I am a faithful servant of St Darwin I am first and foremost a health care provider.

I worked ten weeks in a covid unit. Ten weeks of coming in the back door to suit up in a heavy canvas gown, foot covers, a face mask so much thicker and heavier than what they are asking people to wear, a pair of goggles and a face mask.

All in a hot unit with no airflow.

Gloves for everyone and bleach on everything.

I went from being able to love on my residents and show them much needed tlc, from having movie nights and music days, from making cotton candy and cookies, from noodle ball and hugs, from residents sitting and chatting with each other and us, from them enthusiastically petting visiting dogs and singing along with the lovely ladies who came in for a sing along, to residents confined to rooms and cut off from the world over night.

That alone is damaging to people with dementia.

I don't know how it got in but it did. Even with all our precautions it took over half my hall.

Covid isn't an easy death. It is a gasping, and choking death. It is eyes wide open and knowing the end is near but we can't do anything.

It's fevers that won't break and shaking hands. It's blast furnace skin and dull glassy eyes. It's pain and fear and hopelessness.

It's watching death steal people out from under your hands which promised to help them as much as you can, it's phone call after phone call to broken families that are scared shitless as death sneaks one person closer to their loved ones.

It's being on a first name basis with the men who bring the body bags.

Red eyed breaks in the lunchroom they made in the back of the hall for you.

It's morphine and atropine and Ativan for the dying because we don't have the equipment or the training of a hospital and the hospitals have to triage those sent to them and your people god love them are not canidates for surgery or ventilation because of their disease.

Because of their DNR.

It's a sobbing daughter on the end of the phone who is begging you to let her hold her father's hand as he dies. It's explaining that you can't do anything to make this easier than you already are.

It's knowing every day that you have to walk back on that ward and face another death, another failing person.

It's exhaustion and fear of bringing it home. It's stripping naked in your yard to keep the disease out of your families lungs.

It's blood from the mouth in rivers or trickles. It's black vomit and shit that won't stop.

It's watching as your colleagues fall one by one, your never ending days merging together.

It's pulling people back from the open maw of nothingness only to lose them days...weeks later.

It's plastic sheeting and bio hazard suits from the funeral homes.

It's unanswered prayers and unheard pleas for this sickness that has ravaged us to come no further. That is what covid is.

To me at least.

And I didn't even have the worst of it.

It was only ten weeks.

Then to see these fucking people screaming about a piece of cloth in front of their face, calling us liars and traitors. Putting people we love at risk.

And yet if they were admitted to my ward I would hold their hand as they cried, comfort them as I could and if or when they were taken I would try to make it as painless and peaceful as possible. Everyone I know in this field would.

We have walked through the fire and not come out unburnt but we would reach into the flames again and again for these people who won't even put on a mask for us.

I wear one just about everywhere I go.

I won't have anymore blood on my hands.

This poem is about: 
My family
My community
My country
Our world
Guide that inspired this poem: 
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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