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Coronavirus Surge: What It Means For Health Care Workers

Clinicians care for a COVID-19 patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at El Centro Regional Medical Center in hard-hit Imperial County on July 21, 2020 in El Centro, California. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Clinicians care for a COVID-19 patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at El Centro Regional Medical Center in hard-hit Imperial County on July 21, 2020 in El Centro, California. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

For many health care workers, a new coronavirus spike means they’ve barely had a moment to step back from the first wave of cases this spring.

Those memories of that “first wave” are still fresh and raw. Emma Rome remembers watching evidence of the coronavirus’s deadliness literally walking into her hospital.

“He was like an otherwise healthy man in his early 60s, and he had walked into the hospital. And he was intubated within 20 minutes or half an hour of coming to the hospital that he had walked into,” she remembers. “That was very eye-opening. Like, man. This is a really scary virus.”

That was March. By then, Emma – an Emergency Room nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital – knew her whole life was about to change.

“When the tents went up, it felt apocalyptic,” she says.


In this segment … we hear from:

Emma Rome, emergency room nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.