Well, I guess we now know how prepared we are to deal with a pandemic. It’s shocking to even me, and I can be a bit of a pessimist. I’m not saying the CDC is incompetent, because I’m sure they’re not. My best guess would be that their budget just kept getting cut over the years until there wasn’t much left. We already know how important universal healthcare is to our government, so this can’t be much of a surprise.
BTW, when I say we’re not testing for the virus in NYC, I mean we’re really not testing. If any ER nurse or doc comes down with it, we’re not tested. That’s right – even the healthcare professionals working the frontlines don’t get tested (unless, god forbid, you’re sick enough to be admitted to the hospital).
And honestly, as an exhausted ER nurse, I no longer really care. In the beginning it was important because we could have targeted hotspots and tracked the disease’s trajectory, building solid epidemiological data. But now it’s way too late for that.
The prevailing view among the docs and nurses I wrk with is that we’re all going to get it, and I certainly understand that feeling. But I’ve got to be truthful here – I’m going to work everyday just like any other day. I’m proud to be paid to take care of sick people. It’s intellectually, physically, and spiritually stimulating.
The only difference is that from the moment I walk onto my unit until 12 and a half hours later, I’m wrapped up tight. I only take off my PPE when I have to eat or drink – and that’s quite a production.
I’m trying my damndest to get through this shit without getting sick, and so far I’m good.