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What’s it like to be a healthcare worker in a pandemic?

April 8, 2020

About the Author

photo of Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Dr. Robert H. Shmerling is the former clinical chief of the division of rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), and is a current member of the corresponding faculty in medicine at Harvard Medical School. … See Full Bio
View all posts by Robert H. Shmerling, MD


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April 15, 2020

Thank for your post sharing with us. Really it’s a very helpful post. Hope everybody will be benefited from your post.

Robert M Lavoie
April 12, 2020

It’s 5 pm on a Thursday afternoon. My wife and I sit about five feet apart and she is in tears and hurting inside and I cannot get up from my seat to console her. I am now in tears. I feel her pain and I know how hard she worked today and the conditions at her facility were not ideal, to say the least. She spent her day off yesterday making shields and sewing masks for her fellow workers. She knew it was inevitable that the damn virus would visit her workplace. It arrived this morning with two who tested positive and when she left today it was eight. She worked on that floor today, there was no med-tech. The nurse who is in charge of that floor is not well. My wife may have to work that unit again tomorrow. There is a patient on that floor who is causing trouble and won’t stay in his room. He took a swing at my wife today. There is a shortage of necessary PPEs. She’s not in tears because of all this. She is thinking of the elderly patients she cares for, she knows the ones who will die. She is thinking of the young people she works with; she’s thinking about their children. I am in tears. We have two sons at home with us.

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