I worked the last 2 evenings in the #COVID19 pods of our ER.

What struck me - more than at any other point during the pandemic - was the resignation that I heard.
Patient after patient had oxygen levels in 60s, 70s, 80s
[Normal is 94%+]. All have long road ahead - if they recover.

Again & again:
"I made it this far, I can't believe my bad luck"

"But I was scheduled for the shot in 2 weeks"

"What do you mean, you can't treat it?"
And meanwhile, for those of us caring for them -- this has become the norm.

It's just another unit full of patients on oxygen.

All too easy to lose sight of the humanity of each life we're touching.
The care is almost cookbook (because there's so little to do).

Many of us now have templates for documenting our care of #COVID19 patients - because it's all so similar:
"Caught it from {work / family / unknown}

3-5 days of {fever / cough / fatigue / decreased appetite / SOB}. Also c/o {loss of taste & smell / vomiting / diarrhea}.

RFs include {***}

PE: Hypoxic on RA. {Tachycardic / normal rate} but regular. Tachypnea, coarse BS ...."

The other danger, of course, is that we must still keep our thinking hats on.

Not everything that seems to be #COVID19, is.

(Luckily we have tests to tell us when it isn't - and to show CHF, anemia, regular old pneumonia, all of which still occur.)
And of course, just because someone has COVID, doesn't mean that's *all* they have. They may also have a neuro disorder worsened by the virus; or myocarditis caused by the virus; or blood clots caused by the virus.

Our job is to outsmart it. Not to be lulled into complacency.
And, bc we don't want to spend a lot of time face-to-face, potentially exposing ourselves....

it's easy to forget they're a PERSON, with real fears, real families at home who are worrying about them, and real stories that deserve listening.

This is the greatest danger.
Having #COVID19 is a very, very lonely experience.
Lastly - if those of us working with patients feel this way --- the rest of the country has become numb.

"3200 deaths a day? Wow, that's great!"

(never mind that in the spring, 2000 deaths a day was seen as cataclysmic, unfathomable)
So my plea from the frontlines. Let's not forget:
2) We can still prevent it: masks & other basic measures do work
3) Hope is on the way. Don't give up now. #ThisIsOurShot 4) Human lives matter.
You can follow @meganranney.
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