COVID-19 - a disease of loneliness: a Russian-speaking nurse told what is happening in New York hospitals
In three weeks, coronavirus killed almost the same number of Americans as the September 11 attack. The medical staff makes every effort so that this number does not grow. A nurse from Ukraine, working in one of the Manhattan hospitals, told what is happening today "at the forefront." She emphasized that there is no need to make heroes out of doctors, and explained why. This publication writes "Voice of America".
In recent days, New York is called the “new Wuhan”, because the city has developed the most difficult situation in all of America. Here the sounds of the ambulance sirens do not cease for a minute. Every day, several thousand new coronavirus infections are discovered in the city.
To express support for the medical workers who save New Yorkers' lives, the most famous US skyscraper - Empire State Building - was highlighted with white and red colors, which symbolizes the beacons of rescue vehicles.
One of the nurses, Ukrainian Irina Kot, spoke about how it feels to save human lives at the very epicenter of the disease.
At the front line
Irina Kot is 28 years old. She works as a nurse in one of the largest hospitals in New York. Most coronavirus infected people go through this hospital in Manhattan, located near Central Park. “Am I scared? I try not to think about it, because then I would be sick to go to work, ”Irina laughs. Despite the hard work, Irina often smiles and tries to maintain a good mood.
Nurses work 12 hours, so it’s important to set yourself up morally, the girl notes. Upon entering the hospital, all your problems must be left behind the door.
Since the beginning of March, when a serious outbreak of COVID-19 began in the United States, Irina works either in the infectious diseases and resuscitation departments or in the emergency rooms. It is there that they are testing for coronavirus. In fact, today Irina is at the forefront. Her hospital recently set up tents in the open air in Central Park, as the building may soon run out of space. Everything, as in wartime, the author notes.
How paramedics defend
A respirator, gloves and a yellow disposable robe that is tied to the side on a bow - that’s all the ammunition. “I saw that in Italy or even in Ukraine, doctors have whole overalls. It's so cool! We don’t have this, ”Irina sighs. “They give us one mask a day, and that’s on condition that you find the right size.” I have a small face, and it’s rare to find suitable masks, there are only ordinary ones. ”
All that Irina talks about with her colleagues at work these days is what to do when the masks end.
On the other hand, she notes, after two hours of masking, you want to take it off. “You sweat, the respirator presses on your face and leaves deep marks on it with bruises - but you cannot correct it because you put yourself at risk. And if the mask does not fit correctly, the second one will not be given to you, ”the girl notes.
But in any case, the lack of self-defense worries Irina much more than the inconvenience. Working without them is dangerous for both physicians and patients. “Perhaps you will save the man. But if you get sick yourself, it will be much worse - because 20-30 patients will be left unattended, ”said Irina.
The girl said that in one of the New York clinics, doctors put on garbage bags instead of overalls. Soon, a nurse from that department contracted the coronavirus and died.
Shoemaker without shoes
When asked about how many doctors got infected during the outbreak of coronavirus in the hospital where Irina works, she replied: “I would also like to know that. We don’t know, they don’t test us. ” And all because there are not enough tests, Irina explained.
However, she clarifies, not everything is so simple. “If tomorrow the test shows that I have a coronavirus, then what does this mean? Does this mean that I should not go to patients? - says the girl. “But in principle, all patients are also infected.”
Meanwhile, her hospital transferred the physicians in the risk zone to other departments. In the infectious, young and healthy remained to work. If they become ill, then most likely they will have mild symptoms and will continue to care for patients.
New York conducts the largest number of tests in the United States, but they are still not enough for everyone. Despite the fact that the detected infections in the state are measured in tens of thousands, the real number of patients here is much larger, the source notes. Only those who need hospitalization are examined - that is, patients with moderate and complex symptoms. Young people without additional illnesses, even if they contacted an infected person, are sent home for self-isolation. “Better we use this test for someone difficult - to understand this is COVID-19, or the flu. People with strong immunity will be able to recover themselves, while others cannot cope without our help. They don’t have any artificial respiration devices at home. ”
Everybody wants to test
But everyone wants to be tested, because when you know everything about your state of health, it becomes calmer. “A few days ago, a car flew right under the door of our Emergency Room,” says Irina. - We instantly ran out - maybe a person has a heart attack or a stroke? A woman comes out, crying and screaming that her husband is infected and that his head hurts. ” Irina sighs. The girl shows that she is tired of such stories. In the United States, she explained, people take it this way: “I pay taxes - that means it's my legal right (to get help - Ed.).”
Despite this, the nurse insists that her hospital does not divide people into rich and poor. Today, an important congressman or millionaire may lie in one chamber, and in a few days an illegal migrant or a homeless person. If a person suffocates, they will definitely get a coronavirus test and take it. The hospital resolves the issue of insurance and payment later, if necessary, through a court. But it will be later - first, the main thing is to help.
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