Friday, October 2, 2020

The first day that I went into that truck, I went home and cried for about two hours. I say I'm the cab driver inside the hospital. I move people by bed, stretcher or wheelchair. I knock on their door, introduce myself, and try to crack a joke or something so they could smile, because they're probably not having the best day if they're in the hospital. With Covid, I became a mortician at the same time as a transporter. The amount of bodies that we had to move -- it was probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do. My job would be to clock in, probably do one or two calls, and then get suited up to move about 15 bodies into a freezer truck, every single day. Dead weight is probably the heaviest thing that you could ever feel. The scary part is the next day, I was desensitized. I put my suit on. I sat down. I took a deep breath and just said, "Let's go." This was my time to be called to do this, you understand? I'm beyond proud.

There was one day I cleaned ten beds, and from those ten beds, six patients died. I clean the beds when the patient leaves, transfers or suddenly passes away. I work for the I.C.U. units: Mop the floor, take out the garbage, pick up a little piece here and there, fill up the paper towels, the soap sanitizer and all that stuff. My favorite part of my job is cleaning the bed, because as soon as I begin a bed I think in my mind, one of my family could be there or it could be me, so I have to do it right, like no cut corners. The hardest part during the pandemic was cleaning all those beds and you know those patients didn't transfer, they died. It was hard for me because I never saw in one day so many people die.  I see life differently. it's short. You love your family more than before, because you don't know if you're going to see them again or not. My mother in Boston is 77 years old, and she has dementia. I want to see her before she forgets about everybody.

You're right in the middle of the storm and you don't know whether you'll get to the other side. It was a very intense moment for me. You couldn't stop people from dying. Everything we were before is one story. Covid taught us. It taught me how to be a vulnerable leader and resilient. When the peak came I had to reassure my front line, I had to deal with them in the tent, in the emergency department, in the intensive care unit, talking to the nurses, talking to the doctors, making rounds when we didn't have enough P.P.E. We had to be very innovative. For a week we had to all wear garbage bags. The guidance changed every week. This pandemic, nobody knows anything. It's brand new for 
everybody, for the entire world. Today is good for me. I can look back and say, "Really, did we go through that?" But in that time when that happened you needed to have a lot of strength and courage and hope and faith that you would get out of it.

Thanks to the NYT for sharing these beautiful stories and portraits with us. I will never forget Alexis the Transporter who said "I'm beyond proud." I will never forget Maribel the Housekeeper who never cuts corners when she cleans the bed. And I will never forget a whole hospital wearing garbage bags for a week.

Well, Bloggelinis, I have found out since I started this blog that many think Trump's positive test might not be true and is a ruse that he will use to his advantage. But I don't want to go there, I don't want to think about the possible uses he could make of this. I just want to be happy that he's sick with the virus he caused so many others to suffer and die from. So don't harsh my mellow, okay? Terry 

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