Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. High Noon of the Healthcare Worker

 

In the next two weeks, we will see the virus death toll peak. Facilities and supplies will be stressed to the max. Nearly everyone across the world is locked down. To the extent that social distancing can ease the problem, it has been done to the max.

In the movie High Noon, the human killers are coming to town on the noon train, not a pandemic virus creeping up on us unseen. The town’s marshal has struggled to prepare with little time but now it’s coming down to the crunch. The marshal will face whatever is to be, alone if necessary.

What makes High Noon, the movie, so interesting is that the town doesn’t pull together but rather refuses to support the marshal. Even those closest to the marshal won’t stand behind him in this crisis. Their explanations are elaborate but the results, deserting both their town and marshal at the moment of greatest need, are the end result. In this defining moment, we find out what people are really all about.

‘Last Night We Had a Bizarre Conversation over Dinner’

I am a retired health care worker. Thirteen years working in a Detroit area ER, and sixteen years working in the organ donation/transplantation field. My wife [who I met at work!] is a thirty-five year nursing veteran. She currently works in SE MI’s Covid19 hot spot in Oakland County. As of today, they are seeing 20 deaths per day due to the pandemic, and that number will climb, horrendously. And now her co-workers and friends are dying.

Last night we had a bizarre conversation over dinner, as she prepared to go back in to work. We actually made arrangements concerning our dog and cat if and when she brought the Covid19 home, and the high likelihood of my death, and possibly hers, too. Those kids out there who call this pandemic the “Boomer Remover” can have a laugh at my expense, then, I won’t mind…

So, if and when we get a handle on the current pandemic crisis, and when the death toll at large, and amongst health care workers is finally tallied, and things “get back to normal,” I only hope that the current respect for those that go into harm’s way won’t dry up and blow away.

Each of us has, over the course of years spent in this field, memories, good, bad and horrific. One stands out for me. The night of a trailer fire. We got all four patients in via ambulance in less than ten minutes. An adult, followed by three babies, the oldest five years of age. I remember carrying them one at a time, wrapped in white plastic, to the morgue. We were all taking it hard. I had to go to our closet/break room to hang my head and cry a little bit, when our ER doctor put her arm around my shoulder and whispered “at least these kids had someone to make an effort to save them. We were here.” They still are. But now they’re dying. And still they serve.

It’s not “all for nothing.”

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  1. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Except this time, they can’t put their arms around a grieving person’s shoulders. They must comfort at a distance.

    • #1
    • April 2, 2020, at 2:46 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Except this time, they can’t put their arms around a grieving person’s shoulders. They must comfort at a distance.

    RushBabe,

    Social & Emotional distancing. Not good.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #2
    • April 2, 2020, at 3:49 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  3. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    James Gawron: Nearly everyone across the world is locked down.

    Is this true across all continents? We only normally get news in the US concerning North America, coastal Europe, and select Asian countries. 

    It will be another week, at least, before some people I know take COVID-19 more seriously than the flu. They think the mortality rate is still inflated by limited tracking of the mildly affected and home recoveries. And if the coronavirus mainly kills our elders (y’all have my prayers), the threat to physicians seems slight. 

    Nothing could be more convincing than hospital-specific statistics and verifiable anecdotes (as opposed to memes on social media). If our local doctors and nurses report from first-hand experience that this is much worse than a flu, many skeptics will be convinced. 

    • #3
    • April 2, 2020, at 10:11 PM PDT
    • Like
  4. Gatomal Member

    Thank you for you and your wife’s efforts and work. 

    I worked in organ transplant/recovery for almost 15 years on the West coast. Some of those nights never leave you. I’m relieved I didn’t have any children at the time. It would have been doubly awful. 

    sending prayers to you and yours. 

    • #4
    • April 3, 2020, at 7:02 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  5. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    James Gawron: Nearly everyone across the world is locked down.

    Is this true across all continents? We only normally get news in the US concerning North America, coastal Europe, and select Asian countries.

    It will be another week, at least, before some people I know take COVID-19 more seriously than the flu. They think the mortality rate is still inflated by limited tracking of the mildly affected and home recoveries. And if the coronavirus mainly kills our elders (y’all have my prayers), the threat to physicians seems slight.

    Nothing could be more convincing than hospital-specific statistics and verifiable anecdotes (as opposed to memes on social media). If our local doctors and nurses report from first-hand experience that this is much worse than a flu, many skeptics will be convinced.

    Aaron,

    Click on the link to the photo album from NRO. I don’t think anything short of a complete totalitarian nightmare could have produced the empty spaces in what was normally crowded places of business & pleasure. If I’m exaggerating by this phrase “Nearly everyone across the world is locked down.” then I am not exaggerating by much. The only reason for the lockdown is to slow the virus down not stop it. The fear is that health care systems will break down under the strain. In the next two weeks, probably the peak will occur. Fauci is hoping we’ve flattened the curve enough (slowed it down not stop it) that we can keep the health care system running. You can imagine what this will be like on the front lines for the health care workers. Their pain and triumph are what this post is about.

    The anti-viral drugs taken as soon as possible (don’t wait for them to be on respirators) and getting serum from recovered patients (full of anti-bodies against corona) injecting into those most in need, are the two greatest hopes. The health care workers will feel like the settlers surrounding by the Indians under attack. (you may be too young to have seen this kind of western movie). The ani-viral drugs and the serum will be like the bugle heard in the distance as the cavalry rides to the rescue.

    OK OK, just forget the old movies. Remember the health care workers. They are risking their lives to save others.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Sorry Aaron but this post has been edited by Ricochet. I just noticed they took down or left out the link to the photo album on NRO. Here it is.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/photos/coronavirus-pandemic-high-noon/#slide-1

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #5
    • April 3, 2020, at 7:16 AM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.