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Covid-19: A Message From A Front Line Health Care Worker

Hello friends,

I hope this message finds you well. 

Through out the recent weeks, and the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic, I have been struggling on what to say. 

I have been trying to keep a positive outlook, telling myself that we'll be okay. That everything will go back to normal eventually, but as we've seen, so much changes from day to day that it's hard to know what the future holds right now.

It's scary. It can be overwhelming. We've never seen anything like this.

Some of us are in major hotspots and some, thankfully, are in more sheltered pockets.

The reality of the situation is that we are all affected.

I am writing this from my home office, a place that I have spent much much more time in recently, especially in the wake of the governor of Colorado, Jared Polis' stay-at-home orders.

Being that I am a member of the media, I have been deemed "essential." Like many of us, I have special documentation from Washington, D.C. that states as much. 

Thankfully, this isn't a police state or anything of the sort where I am at risk of being stopped if I should need to go to my office or to the grocery store, or any other errand essential for daily life and the well-being of my home.

My fiance, as a construction super intendent, has also been deemed "essential," along with the majority of my family based on their respective industries.

I know this is not the case for everyone. So many of my friends and loved ones in other industries are out of work.

My grandma and great-aunt are both in isolation in their respective nursing homes.

While I am able to do my radio shows from home (thanks technology), others, like my fiance and countless friends and family members do not have this luxury.

One specific friend, a fellow busy woman, is a member of the health care industry. She is seeing this pandemic from the front lines, so to speak.

Recently, she shared her experience of her latest ER shift. I'd like to share her post with you now, not to cause alarm or panic, but instead to share insight into this from someone who is experiencing it first hand.

The only thing I know for sure right now is that information is worth its weight in gold, and that we should all do our best to educate ourselves as best we can so that we can beat this thing together.




"Yesterday was my first day back at work, since working Sunday night. It’s amazing how much the entire climate of the ER can change in 72 hours.

I started the morning out thinking that the day was going to be a breeze. We only had 12 patients in the entire ER. But by 1 PM we had 68 patients in the ER, with 20+ in the waiting room, we intubated 6 within about a 4 hour time period.

People are waiting until they just can’t wait anymore. Which is very smart.

Cleaning supplies are low, PPE’s are low, the entire atmosphere is somewhat stressed and chaotic. None of us were trained or prepared for this.

While caring for all these sick patients, we still had to treat the traumas, like gunshot wounds and falls, motorcycle crashes and the stroke patients.

From sidelines, I think it seems like perhaps the media has been blowing things out of proportion, and I was guilty of thinking the same thing a few weeks ago. But after spending 14 hours working in the midst of by state's busiest ER, in a county that has the most cases in the state, I am here to report, that this is real, and this is here to stay for a while.
I don’t say any of this to cause fear, or to be a Debbie downer. I am an eternally, hopeful realist. I used to think I was an optimist, but over the years that has been tempered with a heavy does of realism.
When talking to some ladies yesterday via chat, I’m hearing that they don’t want to consider long term isolation, and I get that, I truly do, and I wish with all my heart that was not the scenario we are looking at, but I truly believe on some level, we should all be prepared for that.
This is SO contagious my friends. If I can help you understand any of this, beyond the fatalities being reported, it’s SO contagious.

Entire ICU’s of patients previously negative for COVID, are being exposed and are now COVID positive. Why? Because so many people are carriers without symptoms and so many people have such mild symptoms that they don’t recognize them.
I am taking part of a research study with my Oura Ring and UCSF. Everyday I log my symptoms and take a temp and report it.
They are trying to identify patterns, fever trends combined with heart rate and respiratory rate, etc, to see if they can predict when the illness is coming on and when the body is starting to recover. I love my research studies.
Perhaps it would be helpful for your peace of mind to monitor your symptoms in the same manner. Not all patients have fevers, some just an annoying cough. Some have SOB and chest pain, coupled with fevers ranging from low to high. But for me, especially before I step back into the ER, it brings me peace of mind to take inventory in how I feel, my respiration’s and pulse, and temp.
While I think I would be foolish to think I can escape this, at least I would like to prevent spreading it if it all possible. I did spend 30 minutes outside in the sun enjoying my salad yesterday and it was heaven and a good reset for my soul. Bottom line, prepare for the worst, hope for the best. As a country, we CAN overcome this if we work together.
Love you all. Stay well."

In the end, I want to say that it's okay to be scared. It's okay to give yourself a moment to feel all of this. Keeping our emotions bottled up right now, especially if you're in close confinement with others, can be detrimental. 

Talk to your loved ones about how you're feeling, but also, don't let this take over your entire being. 

Look for the positives in your life and allow those things to carry you through.

Take a walk, watch a movie, call or FaceTime with your loved ones outside of your home, listen to music, work out, laugh.

If you need someone to talk to, please feel free to reach out to either Courtney or myself, or both.

Also, PLEASE follow the CDC guidelines to help contain the spread and avoid calling 911 if you believe you are experiencing symptoms. Start with your health care provider or a local Urgent Care Facility and keep 911 and ERs open for the most extreme and life or death cases.

The more we all follow this, the quicker this will all just be a bad memory.

We are in this together and we WILL get through this together.

Much love,

Carly

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