COVID-19: NYC Nurse Shares in Insider View of the 'Living Nightmare' in the Hot Zone

VIA Operation Shields Up April 20, 2020

The U.S. government has raced to build hundreds of makeshift hospitals near major cities as healthcare systems were pushed to capacity, and sometimes beyond, by the coronavirus pandemic.

New York is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, with more than 236,700 confirmed cases as of Saturday afternoon. That tally accounts for 33% of all Covid-19 cases in the United States, or upwards of 716,900.

We recently received the following email from a nurse that is working in the 'Hot Zone' at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in New York City that received some of our face shields-

I'm in NYC and received 100 amazing shields. It's hard to put into words how valuable these are to us. We are reusing our N95s for five days, occasionally we get face masks with little plastic eye covers attached but it's not much. We need these! I've been the envy of my co workers since I arrived with my #opshieldsup face shield two weeks ago, and it's been overwhelming the response I received when these arrived and I've been able to give them out.

Jen C, RN, BSN, CEN at work in ER at a hospital in New York

That being said, we are all physically and mentally exhausted. I have one night off after working 14 twelve-hour long shifts in a row.  After giving shields out to the people on my bus (picture attached!) I stayed in the lobby to pass more out and learned a lesson: we are all too tired and useless to follow any assembly instructions. So now I've spent the rest of my night off assembling shields to give out in the morning. All of this to say, we're all functioning at the very tippy top of our capacities so if you don't get too many photos from us please know that every single one was one of the most valuable things we've been given here, we are incredibly incredibly grateful, and we are so exhausted we can't even follow the most basic of instructions to send you photos.  It's been rough here. Every morning and every night a thousand of us (mostly nurses but also respiratory therapists and physician assistants) take buses to the hospitals around New York. And still there aren't enough of us or enough equipment to take care of everyone. It's been a living nightmare to watch so many die while we fight so hard for them, and it's the generosity of our fellow humans such as your group that has been instrumental keeping us going in the face of so much overwhelming helplessness.  Thank you for helping to keep us safe. Your shield is on on my face while I'm doing chest compressions during CPR, helping to intubate countless patients per night, and providing patient care. To be honest, it pretty much doesn't come off the entire time I'm at the hospital. While in some places they try to keep patients in negative pressure rooms, for us in our ER we don't have that. Intubated patients sit feet away from us constantly, we are always in what is known as the "hot zone". I've attached a picture of me in the ER in Queens, I hope it helps to keep your donations rolling in.  Thanks for all of your work!! We love you guys! Jen C., RN, BSN, CEN We are greatly indebted to Jen and her team in NYC and to the many other frontline caregivers that are providing such a high level of selfless, compassionate care in these stressful circumstances.

Operation Shields Up provides FREE face shields to front-line caregivers. The operation is primarily run by volunteers and funded by donations.

Here's how you can take action: Let's make more free face shields for doctors and nurses...

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We have a team of volunteers that are busy working around the clock creating protective face shields for front line hospital workers, emergency medical responders, police and fire personnel and more...

All face shields are FREE!

Learn more: How to Help Get FREE Face Shields to Hospital Workers

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