Stories From the Pandemic

Quotes are being shared with the permission of interviewees. They are not available for duplication or redistribution. 

Veterinarian, Washington State

“It is hard when I have to give sad news. Our only exception to the rule of “no clients in the building” is with euthanasia… having to maintain that social distance, to help an owner through a difficult time and not be able to be there physically [is hard]. Something like a pat on a shoulder, a hug… I can’t do. Even the act of euthanasia is different. Normally, I would be right there while the owner is holding their pet. Now, I am using an extension injection set from across the room… I think that has been the hardest thing for me.”

University Staff Member, Washington State

"Am I afraid of getting the virus? No. But that's because I feel like I've been conditioned to be like, if you are sick, you just keep going. That's not realistic and it makes it worse, but that is kinda how people at the bottom have been conditioned, where I live and where I'm from."

Federal Employee, California

"[Care taking for a potential COVID-19 victim] was one of the most terrifying and nerve wracking experiences of my life. I would go in, I would make sure they were healthyish, that their fever didn't worsen, but it was just waiting to see if the other shoe would drop... to see if they would get better. It was nerve wracking to know that maybe I brought it home because I was working around people who were more lax with their PPE than I was. A lot of the times when I was care taking, I was just thinking to myself, maybe if I had a different job then I wouldn't even have to worry about it. Then again, if I did have a different job, maybe I wouldn't be able to care take. It was a conflicting time."

Nurse, California

“I hate the term essential worker. It sets up two different types of people. So, if you aren’t essential you aren’t really giving to society right now. I don’t like that at all. I understand why they came up with that term, why they did it, because they needed to decide who is going to work and who isn’t, but I think we need to come up with something better than ‘essential’.”

OR Nurse, California

“Most surgeries require intubation. After [administration] told us that intubation was a high-risk procedure [for COVID exposure] they told us there were not enough n-95 masks and the masks would only be given to ICU nurses. Operating room nurses became very upset about that…as a nurse in surgery, your job is to be right next to the anesthesiologist. So, to be told we were doing high risk procedures, but we wouldn’t need N-95s for that was really disconcerting. One of our nurses brought the union’s attention to that issue. What they finally settled on was that OR nurses could get one N-95 mask per day.”

A Project by Nikki Brueggeman

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