August 6, 2020

Nurses Share Coronavirus Stories Anonymously in an Online Document

As the country faces the pandemic, a focus on the economic repercussions has so far overshadowed the reality of fighting a new virus with a diminishing stockpile of crucial supplies.

At a Tuesday town hall discussion on Fox News, President Trump, who has often cited the stock market as a measure of the success of his presidency, said businesses across the country could reopen as soon as April 12. “I think it’s possible, why not?” he said.

In New York, the new virus epicenter, cases are doubling every three days. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the state would need up to 140,000 hospital beds in addition to the 53,000 now available. “Those are troubling and astronomical numbers,” he said at a Tuesday news conference at the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, an event space that the Army Corps of Engineers is converting into a 1,000-bed hospital.

A nurse in New York has seen the problem up close. “Our hospital is taking on way more patients than we can handle,” she said in Ms. Schwartzbach’s online survey.

According to another nurse who contributed to the document, a doctor who had been traveling abroad and was later found to be infected with the coronavirus was allowed to interact with health care workers at a Pennsylvania hospital. “Half the staff is currently quarantined because of this doctor,” the nurse reported.

A Texas nurse with 17 years of experience in emergency rooms wrote: “Never seen anything like this. Protocols change minute to minute if there are any at all. I can no longer trust the CDC. For the first time in my career I am scared to go to work.”

Describing the fight to hold on to the last bits of remaining protective gear, a health care worker in Georgia put it succinctly: “It’s every man for himself at this point.”

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