Today was all COVID. What came in as a rectal bleed blossomed into a story of an intense cough, abdominal pain, several days of diarrhea that now had blood in it, and a history of exposure to a COVID positive person. When we arrived on scene, before entering the patient’s apartment, I reached in our PPE bag and came out with the new space suits that I had so admired another service wearing. Unfortunately at six eight with size 14 boots, I did a number on the suit, tearing it in multiple places like I was the incredible hulk (I use small letters out of respect to the read dude). I ended up having to revert to the two yellow napkin gowns double tied to cover my length.
The next call came in as an asthma, but was really a person with clear lungs, shortness of breath, tachycardia and fever with, that’s right, a relative who is COVID positive. While the patient said she had little contact with the COVID positive relative. “I don’t go in the door,” the woman said to me “I just let the kids in so she can watch them while I work.”
I just shook my head.
Both patients had horrible hacking coughs.
The other two calls were both out-of-town transfers taking COVID positive patients out of acute care hospitals, one to the group home he came from where several others were also COVID positive and the last to a new COVID-19 only nursing home that just opened up over an hour’s drive away. I understand the need for the COVID-only nursing home, but a number of us have been sent on these long trips, where we have to sit alone in the back of the ambulance in a clearly confined space with coughing patients even though both patient and EMT are fully masked. I wish some of these homes were closer to us. I have the exhaust fan and I sit in the captain’s chair behind the patient and try to make myself as small as possible. I wear my N95 mask and a surgical mask over it. Not crazy about that part of the job.
On the way back from the transfers I read more COVID news stories. One was about how schools might be when they start back. The author suggested they would start with the younger children and have no more than 12 to a class. Maybe have the kids go on rotating days or mornings for some, afternoons for others. The author was pretty certain there would be no sports, not for quite awhile. Not crazy about that either.
I don’t understand with all the death and uncertainty, why the stock market is rising so much. I see much pain, physical and economic ahead for many Americans.
One nice thing about today, McDonalds gave us all free breakfasts when we went through the drive through. What a kind surprise! I had their new Chicken McGriddle and it hit the spot.
When we came in from the road at the end of the shift, in operations they had a box with jelly bean packages of the good jelly beans. The packages said, “Thank you” on them. Another appreciated touch.
They also have a sign there when we come into work that says, “Superheros enter here.”
It’s corny, but it makes us laugh and feel a little lighter about our day, so I don’t think anyone is going to be taking it down for awhile.
It is still a long road ahead of us.
Another 125 dead in Connecticut.