“It’s very somber”. These were the words used by Marie Wertheimer, one of the house supervisors and nurses who has been saving lives during the recent pandemic of Covid-19, when asked about the atmosphere in the hospital in light of recent events.
The halls of Spectrum Lakeland Medical Center that used to be bustling with busy and determined nurses and doctors, sick patients, and family members wishing to spend time with their suffering loved ones are now silent. Those truly sick are avoiding treatment out of fear of catching something far worse while those who have already been plagued with the virus sit in their rooms alone. Meanwhile, those who love them fight for a way in the hospital now locked down like a high-security prison.
“A lot of people die alone. That’s one of the saddest parts. We as nurses, CNAs, and doctors work to provide any comfort we can to those suffering but it’s very hard to tell the child that they can’t see their dying mother,” said Wertheimer.
Many speculate what they believe the “proper solution” is to such a serious problem. Some believe society and the government are doing too much to try to control something simply out of our hands. Others, however, fight for more restrictions to try to save the lives of those struck with the medical mystery.
“In reality, no one has ever experienced anything like this before. It’s easy to point fingers at those in charge, but it is difficult to be the one to make those decisions. As a whole, it feels to me that we’ve done what we could to control this thing and believe it or not, we have succeeded in fulfilling our original goal of slowing down the spread.”
Many know of the deadly virus, but few are truly aware of the nature of which it strikes and why it truly warrants the fear it has caused across the world.
“The thing about Covid-19 is its unpredictability. We don’t know who it will hit or how badly.” When asked to describe what is witnessed among different patients, Wertheimer said that it’s like different people fit into different categories.
“Say this person is type A. They will catch the virus and may not even realize they have it. Maybe a little headache or fatigue and then they’ll be fine. Now I go over and look at this patient. They’re type B. They will get symptoms and get sick, but they will recover in a couple weeks. Finally, you have type C. This person gets hit and dies. They are the reason why these precautions are so important. We don’t know what connects all of the people who are dying from this but figuring out that connection is going to be a big step in beating this thing once and for all.”
In the midst of the unsettling uncertainty regarding the outbreak, those working in the health care system continue to bear witness to the virus, leaving the public with many questions regarding the future: What is to come in trying to move on from this troubling time?
“At a certain point, our desire to see each other is going to outweigh our fear of the virus. We are going to need to begin restarting life at some point and accept that things like masks and gloves are still going to be a part of our life for the foreseeable future.”
Despite the fear strung throughout society, the crucial workers such as the nurses, nursing assistants, and doctors continue to play a critical part in maintaining order in the world and keeping people safe, but there are still ways people can help repay their efforts.
“Please stay home, wear your mask, wash your hands, and try to be understanding of the current situation. Every extra precaution helps in making our job a little easier. The best thing you can possibly do is help us help you by protecting yourself.”
Along with the basics, lots of citizens are going above and beyond to bring recognition to healthcare workers across the globe. Just recently, a multitude of police and fire departments across michigan congregated at Lakeland to put on a thank you parade for their staff.
“It truly makes it a little easier walking into that environment knowing how grateful people are for the work we do. Nurses and CNAs are truly so underappreciated for the work we do.”
As the world continues to struggle through this pandemic, continue to show support and say thank you to one’s local healthcare workers, letting it be known that their work does not go unnoticed.