May 1, 2020
Heroes on the front line: Avital Rech
Around the world, health care providers are on the front line of the battle against the coronavirus.
Many are struggling not only to treat a disease with no known treatment, one to which no human has natural immunity. They are also facing an unprecedented global shortage of the masks, gowns and gloves known as personal protective equipment, due to international manufacturing shortfalls in the face of the pandemic. That equipment is essential to preventing health care workers from getting infected themselves and from passing the virus to patients and to their own family members.
Doctors and nurses and physician assistants and other health care workers sign up to work long hours, nights and weeks, away from their families. But never in our lifetime have they been asked to put their own health and their loved ones’ health at such risk.
At Coverage, we are giving Massachusetts doctors, nurses, PAs and NPs a chance to speak to you, our readers, in their own words. We asked that they share their simplest, most urgent messages as they fight this new virus with no vaccine and no cure, a virus vulnerable only to our common human bravery, ingenuity and compassion.
Every day, our nurses come in and they’re here 14, 15, 16 hours a day. They are taking care of these patients and doing whatever they need to do to take care of patient lives. But we’re also taking care of each other. We have each other’s backs. People in the community do too. They are sending us everything from food to baby monitors that we use to communicate. They are doing donation drives to get things so we can do our work. And if we need something, people will call and say ‘I can do that,’ and they bring in whatever we need. They’re constantly inspiring our staff.
Nurse manager of the medical intensive unit and the cardiac care unit
Boston Medical Center