EXIT of the DAY.
Hear this Here: EXIT 64 I-95s to Hackensack & Paterson New Jersey
On Monday March 30, 2020, University of Pennsylvania’s Doctor Ezekiel Emanuel made an offhand calculation on MSNBC TV. Said he: “Well if the President now accepts that there will be 200,000 deaths then that means — doing the math -- that there will be 20,000,000 sick with COVID. We only have 168,000 sick today. Our hospitals are already overwhelmed. So we have a long, long battle ahead.”
Monday March 30 marked a milestone of sorts. Just on February 28, one month earlier, a man in his 50s in Washington State became the very first fatality from the coronavirus in the United States.
March 30 also marked another milestone: more Americans died from COVID than had died on 9/11.
In a hospital in North Jersey, an anonymous part-time healthcare worker of indeterminate sex — a so-called environmental services worker — did not hear Dr Emmanuel’s calculation —nor did likely any of the hospital staff that were in fact there that day.
The daily duties of so-called environmental services workers are to clean and sanitize infected areas and articles, change beds, distribute sheets and other linens. You are required to be a high school graduate. A lot of them are hired part-time so the Hospitals need not provide them full benefits and insurance.
On Monday March 30, 2020 the Hospital was already swamped with patients in the hallways — many drowning in their own phlegm — and out back there was a refrigerator truck that was filling up with corpses.
Like on the front line of a long and intense battle these health care professionals were heads down beside exhausted doctors and nurses. They helped transport contaminated gurneys and patients. They may even roll dead people to the truck out back.
Military Corpsmen are people who join the armed forces to provide emergency medical support for frontline fighters. Their uniforms usually are marked by a red cross and they cannot carry arms. The Geneva Convention says enemy combatants must not target these unarmed angels of the battle field — but that is rarely the case. They are in the thick of battles and their lives are always at risk.
Imagine in New Jersey knowing Dr Emanuel’s stats and having to wake up every day in your cozy home and head back to the front lines. Imagine knowing that when you head into the hospital every shift is a battle. Or worse, imagine that even as you retire overnight you may be sleeping with the enemy and that enemy has slipped inside your private space — or worse, your children’s bedrooms. Imagine the anxiety. Imagine the children of the part-time worker who now works on the front line. One child likes lego and the other wants to become a doctor.
The anonymous person who worked in environmental services on the night shift every other weekend no longer worried that no one heard Dr Emanuel’s exhausting prognosis.
A grim statistic, that part time worker had already fought the fight and was the first American Healthcare Worker to die of Coronavirus.
We are now and forever indebted to all the anonymous healthcare workers, the environmental workers, the truckers, the delivery staff, and all those who suddenly find themselves on the front lines. They fight an insidious enemy — a foe like no other Americans have ever faced.
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