AmericaWhen Dr. Rishi Seth rolled up his hand to get the first approved Covid-19 vaccine, he thought about his patients in the intensive care unit (ICU).
It was an Uber driver released from the hospital after ventilating, a dying father saying goodbye to his two daughters in college via video; or 4 patients must have their oxygen levels checked in the morning, just before Dr. Seth removed his protective gear and joined his colleagues in vaccination.
“So I was thrilled today. You are still in the battle, but have begun to see the horizon,” said the doctor at Sanford Health.
The vaccination series began on December 14, opening up a complicated national campaign. This is a moment filled with hope and pain of hundreds of American medical staff.
Even though they lined up for the first injections, cheered and played with their colleagues, they still reflect on the tiring days they went through in a nightmare called Covid-19. They used to beg for protective gear, try a variety of treatments and hold hands of those who did not survive in the last minute. They rushed to the emergency room when they received the warning that the patient was about to die.
“This is because of the people who are gone, the people who are still struggling at the doorstep,” said Mona Moghareh, a 30-year-old pharmacist in New Orleans, while getting her first shot at the Ochsner Medical Center. .
Across the United States, hospital auditoriums and conference halls have become temporary vaccination sites. This is the first phase of a month-long campaign against the pathogen that has killed more than 300,000 people.
In Fargo, North Dakota, 155 doctors and nurses who regularly interact with people with Covid-19 stand in the rooms of renovated veterans. They waited and gathered around a few small round tables. A nurse prepares the vaccines. Others question their health history, get personal information, and then give them a quick injection.
The injection ends in seconds.
“It’s the hope,” said Kenzie Frankl, head of clinical care at Sanford Health Hospital in Fargo. She has volunteered with the Covid-19 treatment unit 9 months ago.
The number of cases in North Dakota decreased gradually in early fall. But in Kansas, where Dr. Maggie Hagan worked, the pandemic returned and was worse than ever. The director of infection prevention at Ascension Via Christi Hospital took a break from work to get vaccinated. Before that, for a month and a half, she was regularly on duty 12 hours a day to handle the sudden increase in cases. Five departments in the hospital were transformed into Covid-19 treatment area. She has to see 50 patients every day.
“I can almost cry right now. I feel this is not just a vaccine, it is also hope. Hope the terrible pandemic we all have to experience will end. We have truly witnessed the suffering, the tragedy, “she said.
Some patients have to take sedatives and lie on their stomach for better breathing. Many people need dialysis because of kidney failure. Some patients used to gasp but recovered. Others reach a steady amount of oxygen, which then suddenly collapses.
The doctor had to wear a protective suit for 12 hours, worried that this patient might turn bad while treating others. Many people are afraid of bringing the virus home. Others were treated like plague by friends and neighbors.
“They were swallowed up by what you saw at work. Imagine you were doing everything to alleviate,” said Maggie Hansen, director of the nursing division of Memorial Health Care system in South Florida. suffering, but sometimes ineffective and the patient just dies slowly “.
Ms. Hansen describes 5,000 of her employees as resilient but physically and mentally exhausted from the pandemic. They get eaten up by becoming the holder of iPads to a dying patient in their 60s, listening to him and his wife making an appointment to reunite in heaven.
In the parking lot of a pharmacy in Miramar, the first doses of the vaccine are delivered and the doctor quickly joins the vaccination. Vaccines bring relief from the series of illness, suffering and death, Ms. Hansen said.
In Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Mark Conroy, 41, the medical director of the Ohio State University Hospital emergency department, was among the first to be vaccinated. He has been treating patient Covid-19 since February, losing many friends due to the disease.
“It’s been ten months working, protecting yourself and the patient, and having the opportunity to be a little bit extra safe means a lot,” he said.
Mr. Conroy was worried about keeping himself healthy in order not to infect his family. Vaccination helped alleviate his fears. But he said he would still maintain a mask, social distance to ensure safety.
“We’re still working on this vaccine and how the human body reacts to it. So I won’t let myself get sick no matter what,” he said.
Like her colleagues, Dr. Yvonne Bieg-Cordova, director of radiology at Christus St. Hospital. Vincent, has seen many people die from various illnesses. But she was not mentally prepared to deal with Covid-19.
Cordova was vaccinated on December 14, a bright moment after a long, bleak year. “There was a time when I just wanted to take a shower and cry for 10 minutes to relieve the pressure at work. Then you go out and get on with your life because you have to go home and take care of your family.”
It is only a few months before the US will distribute enough vaccine to all citizens. Many experts and leaders also mentally prepare themselves for a deadly winter. Song Cordova said that before her eyes were a different perspective.
“I definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.
Thuc Linh (According to the NY Times)