The headlines quoting Mr. Dave Bronson (“The pandemic was over last summer”) made me want to vomit. Over the past 15 months, the superheroes in our local hospitals have held the hands of dying COVID patients while their families sobbed their goodbyes over Zoom.
If you’ve never been in a dead-silent intensive care unit, listening to the chaplain recite the Lord’s Prayer outside a room with the one family member allowed in pressed up to the glass door wailing, it is an experience that will haunt me forever. Perhaps if Mr. Bronson could have walked the floors and ICUs with us, counting the rooms and life-saving equipment taken by this pandemic, praying there wasn’t a flurry of car crashes or heart attacks that we did not have beds for, he would have a better understanding of just how devastating this pandemic was and continues to be.
To be clear, though we now have fewer COVID-19 patients in the hospital than we did in November (which is only “summer” in the Southern hemisphere), they are still here — sick, lonely and scared.
There is no question the pandemic upended our schools and economy and our lives. But pretending is not going to restore normal.
Please, no matter who you vote for, continue to be careful, get vaccinated and wear your mask until health care officials say it’s safe not to do so. We are close, but we are not there yet.
— Megan Clancy, M.D.
Medical Director of Infection Control, Providence Hospital
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