Health Editor’s Note: I suggest a read through this article to get a disturbing picture of what it is like to know you are potentially being exposed to COVID-19 while you take care of those fighting with COVID-19 to stay alive.
The following is the text of twice a week interviews with a California nurse who does not want to be recognized for fear of reprisals. She was interviewed by Ryan Gabrielson, a ProPublica reporter. These interviews were taken through March and April, and show COVID-19 from the perspective of someone who is exposed to COVID-19 every day as she takes care of her patients on the COVID-Unit.
The following transcript has been edited and can be read in its entirety at ProPublica.org.
Life and Death, But No Trash Pickup: Diary of a Young COVID-19 Nurse
by Ryan Gabrielson/ProPublica
When a 27-year-old critical care nurse volunteered for Santa Clara Valley Medical Center’s COVID-19 unit last month, she knew that caring for patients with failing lungs and an untreatable disease would be frightening and heartbreaking. What she didn’t expect was to be shunned by fearful workers in other departments, surrounded by uncollected trash and forced to use up health benefits on a technicality.
She had graduated from nursing school in 2017 and worked for a year at an urban hospital in the Midwest. Last fall, she joined the staff of Santa Clara Valley, a public hospital in San Jose, California. She had barely acclimated to her new job before patients began testing positive for COVID-19 in February.
Santa Clara County had several of the earliest confirmed cases of COVID-19 in California, including what are now the first two known coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. More than 1,900 people in the county have tested positive and 94 have died, according to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard. As of Wednesday, 52 employees at Santa Clara Valley had tested positive, according to the hospital……read more: