I am filled with positive energy and optimism as I write this. I am seeing nurses and other hospital staff beginning to smile at one another and speak with energy again. Greetings on the phone now sound pleasant, things are improving here (and the sun has been shining a bit more as well). Days are getting longer (good for me as it means I don't have to walk to and from work in the dark anymore).
There are still codes and rapid responses called overhead but now I can count on one hand the number of times per day it occurs (most days) rather than the number of times in an hour. The bins of personal protective equipment (gloves and gowns) are full 99% of the time rather than empty! Rooms are empty and not immediately filled up!!
On the downside, many staff, especially nurses are experiencing post traumatic stress disorder symptoms and will need many prayers moving forward. It is hard to see anyone die, let alone someone young and otherwise healthy. I have had a few conversations with nurses who shared that they can't sleep, they keep reliving the bad times seeing them over and over.
As things begin to become more normal here in the hospital, staff continue to wear all kinds of PPE as we never know when a patient will be admitted as COVID pending or COVID positive. The hospital is no longer only COVID as it was when I arrived, and they are trying to make some floors be all COVID negative or "clean floors." This has not yet been accomplished, but with the number of admissions trending down, there is hope that this can happen.
Despite all the donations, staff here are still in need of things and I want to say a huge thank you to a group of ladies from across the country (especially OHIO) who do not even know me, but sent a package of scrub hats! There are still nurses wearing bandannas to work to cover their hair because they cannot get scrub hats. It is backed up online at most places and could takes weeks to get a hat. I was able to share hats with many staff. They were blown away the someone would send gifts/donations for them. So thank you!! Also, these hats were prayed over and blessed and as I shared the ntoes and verses with the women receiving the hats, many had tears in their eyes. Two verses included were, Jeremiah 29:11 (one I have always clung to) and Psalm 18:2 (I have relied on during this time). I have included pictures with NYC native nurses who received their first scrub hat from those sent to me. You cant see them smile, but they were. I have even given the one off my head to a night/evening member.
Other good moments included, arriving at the hotel after working on Mother's day to find that they were passing out single roses to all the nurses. Also, water is hard to find here, ridiculously hard to find somewhere to fill a water bottle, and the hotel has been providing us water bottles at the front desk free of charge. You cant even imagine how thirsty I was last night when arriving at the hotel, (I think I took 3 bottles and drank 2 of them immediately).
As life begins to move past this moment in history, I wonder what they will call this time. There are bits of the twin towers and plaques all over the city.. a memorial in the hospital, a memorial at my hotel, a plaque on the outside of a hospital I pass on my way home. What stands out to me the most during these times are the terms "We stand together" and "We will never forget." I can't help but wonder, will NYC post memorials of this time? Will they talk about how we stood together, while apart? We saw many changes after 9/11 and I wonder how will life change moving forward?