Guardian: Jim Gentile is haunted by the patients who died alone. A surgical nurse at St Mary medical center in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, his hospital was quickly overwhelmed during the first wave of the pandemic this spring, he said. He described racing between patients, only to discover that one had quietly suffocated while awaiting help.
— AFSCME Council 5 (@AFSCMEMN5) November 21, 2020
He said he wrapped more patients in body bags in the first two months of the pandemic than he had in the previous 25 years. On Tuesday, he and 700 other nurses at the medical center went on strike after saying they were poorly compensated and short-staffed despite all they had to deal with as the virus surges again.
Solidarity with nurses preparing to strike in PA https://t.co/rnIFxnet7i
— abby (@abby4thepeople) November 14, 2020
“Many of us have PTSD, and many of us would just sob on the way home,” he said. “And then 10 hours later we’d get back on the horse and do it all over again.”
Hundreds of nurses have gone on strike at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, citing low staffing levels amid rising coronavirus cases. https://t.co/PVh9im7OVi pic.twitter.com/NKVzB8Kwea
— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) November 18, 2020
Adding to their challenges is the politicization of Covid-19. Dozens of states have been slow to implement mask mandates and other public health measures that could slow the spread of the virus, and healthcare workers have reported cases of patients believing the illness to be a hoax even as they were being intubated. In North Dakota, nurses infected with the virus who did not show symptoms were asked to continue working amid staffing shortages.