May 11, 2020
Heroes on the front line: Gloria Batista
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.
Our patients at Boston Hope, who are all COVID-positive, are so grateful they have a place to rest and be taken care of because they don’t have homes of their own to isolate. We’re getting to know them in ways we can't in our outpatient clinics because now there is so much more time to talk and listen. Last night, a large group of us — patients and staff — sang karaoke together. When we sang Sweet Caroline, some people were singing in English, some in Spanish and everyone was cheering everyone else on. It was wonderful.
- Gloria Batista, RN
Site manager at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program’s medical clinic at Casa Esperanza in Boston. Now working with homeless COVID patients at the Boston Hope field hospital at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center as a charge nurse.