And since last Friday, we’ve been watching as you all fill up our pandemic toolkit spreadsheet. It’s full of solutions for staying at home with kids...or by yourself...as it feels like everything is falling apart. And it’s helping me, at least, feel connected even while we’re distancing.
But of course, not everyone can stay home.
This week, we got an email from a nurse named Mary. She works at a small hospital in rural upstate New York. And things are changing there rapidly.
MARY: My hundred and 80 bed hospital in central New York state has been mandated by the state to increase its capacity by 50% to care for a number of patients.
The magnitude of which we really don't know. So my hospital looks like a ghost town. Actual floors are closed, visitors are prohibited. And. For right now, it feels like primarily a fear of the unknown. I'm afraid of getting into a situation where the halls are filled with people who can't get care and the immense suffering that that would create.
Mary told us that pandemic toolkit you all made? Not so helpful for those of us still going to work.
M: I'm looking forward to a show about the toolbox for the healthcare professional. I think in that tool box, instead of beautiful books to read and lovely recipes to cook while I'm socially distancing, that toolbox is going to be full of. Personal protective equipment masks that I can use when I take care of a coven, 19 patient gloves, unlimited supply of gloves and gowns.
I'd like to know how. My nurse colleagues are managing through this crisis, especially those nurses who are giving direct bedside care to critically ill patients.
Mary, we hear you. And we want to know that, too. So that’s this week’s homework assignment: If you’re an essential worker...working in a hospital or grocery store... or keeping people’s lights on and trash picked up...we want to know what’s on your mind right now...and what’s helping you. Record a voice memo and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday.
And we’ve also got an assignment for you if you’re NOT on the frontlines of this crisis--and it’s just to reach out to someone you know who is.
Thank you to Mary and all of you who are leaving your homes to keep the rest of us safe.