NYC 2019 Versus NYC April 2020….Covid

I have been thinking about the changes in New York City in this past year.  Will it ever be the same again? Last year, Thanksgiving 2019, Tina and Ed took the kids to New York City for the first time.  Austin’s birthday was on Dec 1, and he had wanted to see the Lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center and the Macy Day Parade. 

Streets are full of Traffic and sidewalks full of people…
The Official Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center.  It was lit up the following weekend after they left.

NYC was alive and brilliant with lit up marquis, Christmas lights galore, and lots of people.  The Marquis lights were so full of colors, and flashing the Broadway and TV shows all the way up and down the blocks as far as you could see.  The skyscrapers were towering high above with some of their office lights still on.  The tall beautiful 77 ft Norway Spruce, from Orange County Florida was placed at Rockefeller Center to be the official Christmas tree for the season.  It was 46 ft in diameter and weighed 14 tons.  Christmas lights and displays were everywhere.  The sidewalks were full of bustling busy people with their winter coats and hats, and the streets were full of vehicles including carriages giving tourists rides and policemen directing traffic. They signed up to ice skate at Rockefeller Center, and had to wait till 10PM for a time slot.  They had so much fun.  If you listen, you can almost hear all the noise in the background, the music, car horns, whistles, sirens and all the people laughing and talking. 

Rockefeller Center Skating Rink
Ed and Austin skating in Rockefeller Plaza with the Tree in the Background. 
Austin loves the Pokémon
Macy’s Day Parade….2019

The kids stayed at Crown Plaza on Times Square in Manhattan

Little did anyone know what was about to happen in several months………..

View from Tammy’s’ hotel window at the Marriot Marquis on Times Square in Manhattan

About 5 months later Tammy arrived.  She stayed at the Marriot Marquis also on Times Square in Manhattan, only about a block from where Tina and the kids stayed.   When she arrived the city was shutdown.  Governor Cuomo declared Shelter in Place, and all business closed.  The city that never slept at night grew silent……No traffic, no people on the street, No car noises, no tourists.  The marquis were lite up, but they displayed messages,  ‘Thank You To Our Frontline Nurses”   “Thank You to Our First Responders”.  Tammy had answered the call for RNs to work in NYC.  What a contrast it was from 5 months ago when Tina and the family was their……

Standing in the middle of the street….No people….No traffic

She was assigned to a Bronx Hospital.  The city was reeling in panic.  Covid-19 was infecting people by the thousands.  Many business’s let their employees work from home, otherwise, you simply did not work.  Just think of all the business who employed workers to service and sell to customers.  No work? ….No Money?….You still get bills…..Many business’s closed permanently and people lost jobs.  We all watched NYC from all over the USA.  The virus was starting to travel across the US, but  we never thought it would come to our home town too. 

When Tina, Ed and the kids were in NYC, The Corona Virus was just beginning overseas, but on its way to America.  In just a very few months it would take over NYC bring it to its knees and screeching to a halt.  NYC would fill its hospitals up to over capacity, and the morgues would be full of bodies, with refrigerated trailers rented or purchased to help hold the overflow………The Year of 2020 will be born with the Beginning of the Coronavirus taking over the world.   It almost seems like a bad sci-fi movie…..but its todays reality.

Tammy and her friends from Illinois on the streets of NYC
New York City Honoring the Front Line Workers

The first case of Covid-19 was confirmed in NYC in March of 2020.  They said it had probably already been their for awhile.  23,000 were confirmed by March 27.  2 days later on March 29 it had risen to 30,765……Wow, those numbers are mind boggling…..Tammy was hired by Krucial Staffing Agency, _{Emergency Agency} on their 2nd wave of hiring.  She arrived and started working on her birthday April 6.  By that time they had over 2,000 deaths.  NYC had become the worst affected area in the country.  The dead were dying to fast for the funeral homes to take care of them.  Some homes bought or leased refrigerator units.  Even the Crematoriums were booked and couldn’t keep up.  They began burying bodies in mass at Hart Island……Potters Field, for the poor.  Today, New Years Eve, their is 430,597 confirmed cases in the city for a total.  Todays daily count is 4,207.  They have had a total of 25,042 deaths with 41 for their daily count.  New York have brought the counts way down and had started opening the city in the summer, but the counts are on the rise again. 

The virus is on the rise again all over the country and the world.  California is suffering terribly.  Their hospitals are overfull.  They have nowhere to put new patients.  They are running over 30,000 new cases a day.  Illinois was bad for awhile.  Governor Pritzker shut down much of the state.  It is now declining.  As of today Illinois has a total of 963,389.  the daily count is 7,374.  Texas has been bad up north, but its heading down south  again.  Todays totals are 1,766,410 with a daily counts averaging around 15,000.  We are hearing reports that our local hospitals are filling up, and their is a medical staff shortage.  Down her in the RGV our first wave was this summer. The hospitals were so backed up, they set up emergency units for the overflow.  Now Texas is starting to heat up again.  Many areas are now having their 2nd wave.  We are told to expect a new wave because of the holidays.  People really have a hard time respecting Social Distancing.  Masks are a must.  It’s been a tuff year.  Everyone is tired of Social Distancing.  They are getting together for all the holidays.  That can spell disaster.  We also have those people who don’t believe.  They think the government is infringing on their rights.  They want the freedom to make their own decisions on mask wearing.  Also, many say,…. “It will go away when the election is over”……Come on, Really?….How does the election affect the people dying, and those filing up the beds fighting for their lives on ventilators. 

Now we have 2 vaccines finally available with a 3rd one almost ready to be approved.  They are rushing to have it dispensed all over the country.  This is a huge feat which is already having problems.  Hopefully this is the answer.  All we need is time.  But is everyone taking the vaccine?  I am not….I’m a bit skeptical because it’s new.  Even though they say it’s not been rushed, I still feel it has.  Of course I don’t take any shots, flu shot neither.  So that is my choice. 

So Here it is, the end of 2020, and the beginning of 2021.  Everyone is hoping for a better year.  The virus is still running rampant all over the world.  We are just now hearing of a new Coronavirus Variant entering the states. 2 vaccines have been approved and being rushed around the country to be dispensed. So many people have lost their jobs. We have weekly food lines for family’s who can’t feed their families. People are being evicted from their homes because they can’t pay rent. We wear face masks every time we go somewhere. We practice Social Distancing, no matter what we do. Even the check out lines in the stores. Our White House is in shambles. The leadership and dissention between the party’s and the president are not only embarrassing but devastating to our country. Can we put everything aside when the new President comes into office this month? This is what we must do as a country……UNITE…..AND HEAL…..Their is so much for the New president to do. The people are reeling and suffering from this Coronavirus tragedy. They need some compassion and help. The small business’s have been destroyed. The Economy has ruined so many people’s lives. We need Unity and a plan. A plan for a new beginning. Hope for the people to begin to live once again. Let’s hope we get through these next several months, and 2021 is the start of our NEW BEGINNING….

Hart Island…. NYC Potters Field….Coronavirus

March 14, 2020 was the first recorded death in the Coronavirus Pandemic in New York. Since then, which is less than 2 months, they have recorded over 20,000 deaths. The daily death count had spiked in early April to over 800 a day. Now it has lowered to an average of 260 a day. In 2017 the average deaths in NYC were 149. Daily hospitalizations went from 3,181 in April down to around 600 a day, much better but still too many. So many people flooding the hospitals. So many people dying. Where Do they put them all. The funerals homes were called. They were at capacity. They rented reefer trailers to keep the bodies in. Fema deployed 85 reefer trailers to the city. Many hospitals had reefer units in their parking lots. An embalmed body will last at least 2 weeks without decomposing. A refrigerated body, a couple of months. But generally in the normal world, that never happens. A body is usually buried or cremated with in 3 days. But now family’s were becoming desperate. They only had a 2 week window to take care of their family member. How could they take care of the overload…..The Crematoriums were overloaded also. Their are only 4 in the City, 2 in Queens, 1 in The Bronx, and 1 in Brooklyn. They can only process 20 a day. The government gave them permission to process the bodies 24 hours of the day, but still that doesn’t even begin to take care of them all.

The other problem was many of the dead were not claimed. Because of the virus, once you entered the hospital, nobody was allowed to visit. Many died alone without the family or had no idea their loved one died. Many HAD NO family. The families had 2 weeks to claim the bodies before something had to be done. So what was the answer….

…….HART ISLAND…….Potters Field Cemetery …..

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Hart Island is about 1 mile long by .33 wide. It is located on the western edge of Long Island Sound, and north east of The Bronx. New York City actually contains 36-42 islands. We know some of them, Manhattan Island, Staten Island, and Long Island are the big ones. The others we know are Coney Island, Ellis Island, Rikers Island. Of course we all know Rikers, from Law and Order….It is the home of NYC’s Jail Complex. Hart Island is the burial grounds for over one million people. These are people not claimed by their relatives and the poor and homeless. Some people choose to be buried their because of the cost. Also the people who died of diseases that needed a mass burial site. Many children and stillborn are buried their, as well as dismembered body parts.

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In 1864, the first public use for the island was the training ground for the US Colored Troops. Since then it was used for many things. Union Civil War Prison Camp, Jail, Homeless shelter, Boys Reformatory, Drug Rehabilitation Center, Psychiatric Institution, Tuberculosis’s Sanatorium, and a Potters Field for mass burials. The buildings were abandoned in 1977 and then became the city’s Potters field, run by the NYC Dept. of Corrections. In the fall of 2019 it was transferred to NYC Dept of Parks and Recreation. The Island is isolated from the rest of the city, with no electricity and is only accessible by Ferry Boat from City Island. Burials are performed by the Inmates of Rikers.

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As many of us seen on TV, Hart Island became the temporary burial place of the Coronavirus Pandemic, when the Funeral Homes capacity was overwhelmed and body’s were unclaimed. These burials began in late March of 2020. In April the DOC inmates were replaced with hired private contractors to do the mass burials. The trenches were dug, and burials began as drones hovered over and took pictures. Adults are placed in pine boxes according to size and are stacked in sections of 150, measuring three coffins deep in two rows. Theirs seven sizes of coffins ranging from 1-7 feet long. Each box is labeled with and ID number, the persons age, ethnicity, and the place where the body was found or picked up. The numbers of burials increased from 25 a week to 120. They increased the burials from one day to five days a week.

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The city is hoping that after the Pandemic calms down that families will want to claim their relative. They can be disinterred with the city picking up the costs. The reburial will be the cost for the family to pay. Their is lots of paperwork to file, then the Funeral Home has to come to pick up the body for the new burial. So their fore many will probably leave their loved one on Hart Island because of the cost.

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Hart Island is a seven minute Ferry ride from City Island. It was closed off to the public till 2012. Now families or individuals can request permission to come and visit a grave. You may be escorted to the white painted concrete markers at each plot, or at a gazebo looking out at the field. They say it may all change next year (2021) when the City Parks take’s over management from the Dept of Corrections.

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The Island is a very Peaceful place. The buildings are crumbling from the past. Some are torn down as they need more burial ground. It is full of wildlife and is a bird sanctuary. Maybe when the Parks Dept takes over they will make it a peaceful, beautiful island to visit and feel the spirt of the million people who are buried underneath. It is a very spiritual place. We need to remember these people all had a place in life at one time. They were children, with moms and dads, they all grew up to have a space in life…..A purpose to live…..Many were productive citizens…..And then they passed…..and were forgotten in a Mass Burial on Hart Island…..

Their is so much to read about this island. Its past, the people who are buried. A few had been famous in their younger years and became penniless. The different chapters of this island when the buildings were in use. It is worth the time to search out the history of Hart Island, as well as many of the other 42 islands located in NYC.

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The City Of New York…..Potters Field

Blessed are the poor in spirit……For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven

My Child.….Peace I leave to you….My peace I give to you

The Almighty….Has his own purposes

He must have loved them…He made so many of them

Cry not for us….For we are with the father

No longer do we cast shadows on the ground as you do

We are at peace

Part 1….Carrie in New York….Tammy’s Friend….Coronavirus

In the beginning of all this, I mentioned Tammy had 2 other nurse friends in New York City. This is one of them. Carrie Ann. She has a Very Special Story to tell. Tammy and Carrie met at Kindred Hospital in Peoria, and then they both worked for awhile at IVCH in Peru Illinois. Carrie is a Travel Nurse and her specialty is OB, Labor and Delivery. Carrie’s Day 1 of 21 started on March 28 2020. She is staying at the New Yorker in Manhattan and working at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx. This is so heart wrenching to read her posts. But she is telling how it is. These are story’s that should be told. Their are some doubters out their that just don’t realize what is truly going on in this world with this virus. The people in the New York City are fighting for survival. We need to know what these nurses and doctors and all personal are going through to help these people daily, …..and you might wonder…. why do they do it?…..It’s because they feel the need to help. They are answering the call that they are trained for….It’s their LOVE OF LIFE AND PEOPLE. So in this blog I will copy the words directly from Carries FB site…..These will all be her words……with her permission…..Preserved for us all….

So Lets Follow her for her 21 days fighting Covid-19 in New York City

CarrieAnn is at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
March 27 at 9:57 AM · Chicago, IL ·

I’ve said it before .. being a nurse isn’t what I do, it’s who I am. It’s not always a choice, it’s a calling, sometimes you don’t even understand it yourself.
So in the words of my little brother, Im going to “bring my ass home”, but for now, let’s do this New York

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Jacobi Medical Center

CarrieAnn
March 28 at 6:39 PM ·

Day 1. Jacobi Medical Center.
I’m overwhelmed and proud to be part of this group of nurses.
Ps didn’t post this morning.

CarrieAnn
March 28 at 6:52 PM ·

So I’ve decided I’m going to do something I don’t normally do, and I’m going to post about my days while I’m here..as much as I can by the time I make it to the end of the day. And it’s not going to be your average sugar coated filtered Facebook bs, I’m going to be raw and honest about what is happening here. Unfriend me now if you don’t want to know.
Day 1 started with some uncertainty because it’s the first day. No one really knows what they’re doing. A bus shuttles us from the hotel to the hospitals we are assigned to. There was a group of us on our first day so we had a day of hospital orientation before heading to the floors tomorrow. While waiting at the elevators to go up to education the nurse escorting us answered her phone and started crying, asking the person to repeat what they’d just said.. then cried out, and sobbed. She walked away then came back and told us one of their educators just died from corona.
On the bus back to the hotel at the end of Day 1 and I receive a text from a newer nurse, I think she’s been a nurse 4 years, she’s young, a lovely girl, and she was assigned to Elmhurst.
She just got on her bus, and this is what her Day 1 will look like.
PLEASE PRAY.

Mar 29 at 8:59AM

Day 2 in NYC. I am still at Jacobi Center and I’m in Labor & Delivery where we still have plenty of supplies.

The text from my friend about her first night at a different hospital.

“ER -one nurse taking care of FIVE intubated “sedated” possible positive covid patients. five to one, he was just running around trying to keep a BP going.
they are out of ALL supplies… they’re out of pumps!? they had fentanyl/levo/propofol gtts with no pumps. they were titrating by the roller clamp. maxed out on vent settings, with sats in 70-80s and they were happy with that sat.
patients coding every couple minutes.
it’s a 50 bed ER, and they have over 200 patients in there right now. patients just stacked on top of each other and having to move stretchers around to just reach a patient in the back row.
they made a tent morgue outside of the ER and it’s full already.”

Feeling thankful beyond words for my assignment today, and praying this nurse has peace in her heart and mind this morning when she lays down to sleep. Even just for a few hours. ♥️

March 29 at 9:08PM

Today I got my assignment, and thanked God above my whole walk to the labor and delivery unit.
That group of nurses were so appreciative -so thankful that we’re here to help- I’ve never felt so appreciated walking onto a shift. They took me in as one of their own made me feel welcome and did not miss an opportunity to thank me, all day long.

The TV in the break room runs between ABC NBC CNN and Fox news all day long, trying to keep up with the latest with Covid while managing our patients.

Employees at the hospital were picketing outside the emergency room and I’m not even really sure why… The biggest complaint I hear is about having to use the N95 masks for a week before we can get a new one. They gave out small brown paper bags, like a lunch bag, to store it in.

The labor and delivery unit is dated, and not well laid out. The cabinets are falling off hinges with long mismatched screws holding them on, and there is paint chipping off most of the corners of walls, and along the ceilings. But it doesn’t change the overall feeling of optimism on this unit, and in the midst of everything going on all around us, we had a delivery of a healthy baby girl today.

Every nurse that got on the bus wore her day on her face, some spoke it in words, some look defeated. One cried. We talked about our day.. the good, and the bad, then finished the bus ride back with our acapella rendition of Joe Diffys John Deere Green. RIP Joe

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March 30 at 7:02PM

Day3.
Today I learned why Mondays get a bad rap. New York hospitals did that.
It doesn’t matter how experienced or strong of a nurse you think you are, you’re not ready for this. I got there, took my assignment in triage, and the door didn’t stop revolving. Within the first hour all the triage beds were full and there was a line waiting. Some were belligerent and cussing demanding to be seen, some were tearful, all were scared. Everyone’s wearing masks and complaining of how hot they are. Management is visible, on the floor working, asking what you need, how they can help.

These women are coming in alone, leaving their husbands, sisters, moms- whoever brought them- in the waiting room as they are assessed and treated. If they stay they can have one support person, no trading off- ONE person, per patient, per stay…. WHEN THEY ARE HAVING A BABY. Or when they’re not. Some of these girls are miscarrying, or having a threatened miscarriage, and they have to pick the one person that can sit next to them, hug them, tell them it’s going to be okay. One person. Because of this virus. Oh, and when they do deliver, dad gets one hour to bond then they have to leave .. til mom goes home.

Covid in pregnant women is a hard thing to look at. She’s struggling to breath and her 02 sats are in the 70-80s. Do you know how much oxygen that means her baby is getting? She went to ICU. I didn’t have time to check and see how she was doing after she left our floor.

I also didn’t have time to eat, drink, or pee. I can feel my heartbeat in my feet after sitting down for 10 minutes on this bus, and don’t even feel sorry for myself because I had more help than the night shift I just left.

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March 31 at 9:27PM

I wasn’t going to post words tonight, but just a picture. If you haven’t seen it, this isn’t some professional National Geographic wait for the perfect poignant shot picture. It’s a snapshot, taken with a phone, by a nurse, here, in New York City.

But then…

Ive always been a believer of “to each their own”. I’ve never had a hard time respecting someone’s opinion or beliefs without agreeing with them myself. And then today I find myself typing out the words “you’re a fucking idiot” in response to a strangers comment on a friends post. A stranger. Going on and on about how this virus is a hoax. Well-?! .. is he..? an IDIOT?? Are people that fn STUPID? I just hope..these individuals don’t end up with the virus themselves and need the medical attention and treatment from one of these doctors or nurses that read that shit. Because I think, for the first time in my life I would walk on by.

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April 5 at 7:05 PM

Day 5 was mixed. I am sore and I am tired. My back hurts from being on my feet for 15 hours a day, and there are open spots on the back of both my ears from wearing a surgical mask over the N95, to try to make it last longer. You end every day with a headache from the tightness and pressure of the N95 on your face all day. We have two rooms just dedicated to corona virus rule outs on Labor and Delivery, and we are going to ICU to do fetal monitoring for positive moms. We constantly weave in and out of ambulances on the way to and from the hotel. I’m not complaining.

I was present and praising God at the beginning of 2 new lives today. The OB charge nurse called the 4 of us crisis nurses together n she stood up and told us that when she saw on the news that nurses were coming from all over the country to help in NY, she was emotional and touched. When she heard her hospital was getting 200 nurses, she was excited. But when we walked onto her unit to work, she couldn’t believe it. She thanked us with a sincerity that was raw and I will never forget.

Across town my friend Sid had a different day. When she text me I put my phone down and cried. You don’t even have to be there to feel the terror of that shift. Its not plateaued, and it’s not slowing down. Again, she is not at the same hospital I am.

****five codes… they all die. staff is so so rude and unhelpful. it’s such a toxic environment.
my patient was one of them at 0630. my vent stopped working because it’s a damn portable and he’s been on it for three days. they refused to get him another one and said that they had to save them for other patients… I bagged him for a good 30-45 minutes without a peep valve and of course he started to decompensate. it was me and a resident and nobody would help, he coded and died. the bus has left me. I have to wait for a van to come get me.
we are reusing code carts over and over, we have no oxygen on the unit, the low oxygen alarms are going off, we are out of sedation, we’re using pediatric pulse ox’s… i’m doing things that are just going against my morals and it’s so hard to see how these patients are going down.
I do not think covid is killing these people, it’s the lack of staff, education, equipment and resources…. *****

And so now there’s that.

Oh, and my other friend here, that I came with, she was in the ER today, positive.

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CarrieAnn
April 3 at 8:07 PM ·

On day 7, the Midwest is looking really good. After a week here, working nonstop, you’re a different person. I miss home, miss my kids and I miss my husband, Joshua, who tried everything from arguing to pleading with me not to go-because he was worried about my health-but has been indescribably supportive, and encouraging me every day. I love you.
Im irritable and emotional. Tears fell out of my eyes and right down onto my patients bed yesterday as I’m leaning over her doing all the things when we lost fetal heart tones. That’s not how I nurse, and has nevvver happened. I just couldn’t help it.
The feeling of impending doom is heavy. There are numerous morgue trailers, morgue tents, and mobile morgue trucks all over the city. Ambulances constantly speeding by, lights on, horns blaring.
Don’t miss the view from my patients labor room below.
The hospitals here have now started ethical triage. That’s when families are simply told there are no ventilators to save your family member. Do they need a ventilator to survive? Yes? Then roll them over there to die.
People over 65 have been denied ventilators to give it to a younger person who has a better chance. WHAT-?
Many healthcare workers here are writing their last will and testament.
New York has now initiated orders that first responders cannot transport people to hospitals if they cannot be revived on the field. They just don’t…even…take…them. Can you imagine, in our country, calling 911 because your wife can’t breath and they won’t even put her into the ambulance?
Thousands of nurses, nurse practitioners and doctors have come to New York, and are risking their lives to help. NO ONE knows how they will respond to the virus..you may be okay, you may die.
All you have to do is stay home.
Or you could be standing in the emergency room hearing “I’m sorry but we don’t have a ventilator for your wife/son/daughter.” No bullshit.
How bout the NYFD though, greeting nurses for our shift 🙌🏼❤️

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CarrieAnn
April 5 at 10:07 AM ·

Yesterday was day 8, and it was the closest representation of a “normal” day in labor and delivery. I had a 1:1 mag patient that I was able to give the appropriate amount of attention to, and I didn’t feel like running off the floor once. I’ve gotten a lot of support and kindness from the staff nurses here, and that makes a huge difference.
There are 2 covid+ moms on the unit- these women are SICK- and we sectioned a mom that was in ICU because her oxygen was in the 80’s, and although she resisted having a c/s all day, insisting God would get her through it, her body couldn’t win out over the strain the virus was putting on it. Her baby was born alive and went to NICU.. but this unit continues to focus on life and beginnings. It’s upbeat- a small little bubble of happiness compared to the rest of this city.
I also received a package from the best best friend, Lynn, with more “stuff” I couldn’t live without! Shaina, you’re a special kind of person, and I’ll never forget the N95s you had for yourself, but sent to me instead. ♥️
So I’ll use this opportunity to share some pics I’ve taken since I’ve been here..none too exciting, no touristy or cool things that one would want to see on their first trip to New York, but New York nonetheless.

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Madison Square Garden

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New Yorker, Carries Hotel

CarrieAnn
April 5 at 3:02 PM ·

Live♥️ NYFD here showing love to the health care workers!

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CarrieAnn Munson
April 6 at 9:38 AM ·

Day 9….Yesterday was my 9th day in a row working in New York City.
The NYFD came to Jacobi and showed the nurses and docs some love, and that was cool.
L&D was slow so I was floated to PEDS, which isn’t pediatrics at all anymore. It’s now an adult med-surg with double occupancy rooms. Practically every patient is covid positive or covid rule-out. The stream of admissions literally doesn’t stop and I heard the charge nurse say I’m at maximum capacity now so what do I do- put 3 in a room?
The mood is still upbeat. This charge nurse was joking and laughing, trying to keep his nurses light and moral high.
One of the nurses in my group got onto the bus tearful, saying she lost one of the patients she’s taken care of since we arrived here. A 38 year old man, who left his wife and 10 year old son, and died alone because of quarantine. The things etched in our minds eye and memories are hard to explain in words, you just can’t understand it without seeing it.
The people who are really sick go from bad to worse quickly, and recovery, if at all, is very slow. The few people that do get extubated, are still 100% dependent on BiPAP. For those who are intubated, more than half are on very strong medications to keep their blood pressure up. And still many of them are dying anyway, despite our best efforts. The most tragic part, is that they are alone. Staff uses their iPhones regularly so that families can use FaceTime to see their person one last time, and say goodbye.
There are videos people are taking suggesting that the situation in New York is not as bad as the media projects. I don’t have the time to watch all the news right now, and I can agree that the streets, even around the hospitals, are not crowded. However, that is NOT an accurate depiction of where actual patient care is being provided. At least in Queens, and the Bronx.. even Manhattan, every department that cares for the critically ill is stretched way beyond normal capacity. I have been working with nurses and physicians, anesthesiologists, general surgeons, gynecologists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurse anesthetists, all of whom have been stepping in to do their best to function as intensive care and/or emergency medical providers. In the emergency room, there literally is no more room for additional stretchers, and those less ill are sitting in chairs, for hours and hours.
This pandemic is real. The severity, which luckily doesn’t seem to impact the majority, is devastating for the minority. Please- distance yourself from others. Act like you have it, and everyone who doesn’t live with you has it too. You may get Covid, you may not. You may get really sick, you may not. But you could be the reason someone else does, without ever knowing.. and some of them are DYING. Dying with no family member there in their final moments…and that would be much worse than missing out on time with your friends, or not eating in your favorite restaurant.

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CarrieAnn
April 7 at 8:24 PM ·

Day 10….Yesterday was day 10. My friend was woken by a call on her room phone from the NYPD, saying there was a complaint against her and she needed to come to the police station for questioning. The officer told her he didn’t want to embarrass her so he would give her time to shower, and she could wear her street clothes (not scrubs) down to the lobby where he would meet her in 40 minutes, walk her out and cuff her before putting her into his car. She called home to fill them in and was told to call the police station back and ask questions.
She learned that no officer had called her, no complaint had been filed against her, and no officer was coming to pick her up to take her to the police station for questioning.
She notified our company who quickly made arrangements to move her, and make her non-registered. They are also making frequent checks on her.
So not only are we fighting the virus, lack of sleep and hot meals, long hours on our feet, homesickness, death in our faces…. now we have to worry about abduction, or worse.
W. T. F.
Today was my 11th day working in New York.
It was a good day.
I was just a labor nurse, it was a nice pace, with wonderful fellow nurses, and a good delivery.
God is present, and He is good.
I am tired, and homesick, He knew I needed a day like this.

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CarrieAnn
April 9 at 6:04 AM ·

I have NO WORDS for the overwhelming feeling of gratitude and appreciation to each and every one of you- and I know who you are- that took the time out of your day -and money out of your wallet- to send me something here in New York to make my time easier. I’ll never forget it. ♥️♥️♥️

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CarrieAnn
April 9 at 7:03 PM ·

Day 13….Today was my 13th day here. Today we also had military nurses arrive at the hospital and assigned to the floor. It is an actual deployment for them. Today I started my shift counting the codes paged overhead, and just realized I stopped counting at 11, hours ago. Today we started swabbing all patients admitted to labor, regardless if they show symptoms or not. Have any of you had this done?..or seen it done?… if you haven’t yet, go ahead and search a video. The swab goes up your nostril all the way back, to your throat. Thrrroaat. Their eyes water and they try to stall, some women push the providers hands away over and over..and then they swab the other side.
I miss home, and it feels so much longer than 2 weeks. But I have so much love and support from home..thanks again to all of you that sent me care packages, you can’t know how much of a difference it makes. And this unit continues to make each of us one of their own, embracing us more every day, with endless thank you’s.
I still feel healthy, with no signs of illness, so I won’t be whining or complaining.

This is Carrie’s first 13 days. It is so hard to comprehend as we just sit here every day waiting for the days to pass. We see it on the news, but the reality does really have the full impact unless you know someone who is fighting the fight……Part 2 will follow her to DAY 21

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Happy Birthday Tammy….Coronavirus..Day 1 in New York City…

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAMMY” Today YOUR “42”

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…Just 4 days ago, I was thinking if I should send Flowers or Balloons for your Birthday. Then the realization, that I couldn’t even do that, because its not an ESSENTIAL Business….Then Thur. you called me….“How would you feel about me going to New York”.….I took a moment to pause…..I know she is a devoted nurse, but even “THAT” I didn’t expect….I finally said “I don’t want you to, but I understand why and will support you if you go”. So 3 days later she arrived in New York and today is awaiting her assignment.

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The Staffing Agency that is recruiting the medical field put out a call for 550 RN’s. This is the 2nd wave of hiring that I am aware of. Two of Tammy’s friends from Peoria were already their. On Friday the phone lines were opened and they were to stay opened until they hired the full amount. Tammy and her friend Brittney kept trying and finally made it through and were hired. They wanted them their by Sunday for Orientation..…Wow, that’s only 2 days. So plans happened fast. She talked with Tina, as Carly, who is 8 has been staying with her since the Virus broke out. Tina was on board with her going also. Tina has been an Amazing Sister. She has helped Tammy out so much with Carly. It is so hard finding a babysitter when you are a Nurse. Tina has always been their for her. Lately, Carly has been staying with Tina full time because of the Virus. Tammy could easily be a carrier as she works 2 different hospitals. So now Tina has Officially taking the responsibly of Carly while Tammy is gone and this Health scare is going on. Tina got to work and started lining up supplies.

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She found a local supplier of Alcohol Antiseptic Solution. It cost her $255. Quite a bit. She is gave Tammy and Brittany each a bottle and a small spray bottle to refill.

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She personalized each bottle with their name and tinted Brittney’s blue. Tina also managed to get Clorox wipes, gloves, and masks from her Rotary friends.

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Aunt Connie also made her some masks, and also gave her a “Spirit Bag”…..It is suppose to keep her safe. Of course she had to stop and see Carly. Of course Carly doesn’t know she is leaving. All she knows is that her momma is saving peoples lives. It has to be very hard on a child to understand what is happening right now in the world. I can’t even imagine what a child would think when its her mom trying to save people. That had to have been so hard on them both…..Such emotional times. She also had to stop and say Goodby to Cassidy, her 16 year old, who was staying with friends. Then she went and seen her friend Kathrine who is a nurse in Peru. Kathrine had made her a GORGEOUS Birthday Cake.

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It is FABULOUS and so detailed. The Statue of Liberty even has a mask on it. Katherine, it is so Beautiful.

So finally Sunday morning after packing all her supplies and clothes, Katherine and her mom came by and Tammy along with Cameron, her 21 year old son headed to Peoria. They stopped and picked up Brittney who is also a nurse, and then the 2 of them flew out on Delta, heading for NYC with a small layover in Atlanta.

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They arrived around Noon at JFK Airport. Fortunately Brittney is Uber and Large city savy……lol….They took an Uber to the hotel for around $55. The Agency has put them in a Marriot in private rooms right on Times Square.

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Times Square….Notice all the gratitude’s on the Marquis for all the help they are getting

This is her view from her window on the 17th floor. Brittney is on the 21st floor. She said that one of these buildings is where they drop the ball on New Years Eve. Her other 2 friends from OSF in Peoria are at a different hotel. One is in the Bronx. Their Orientation was 5pm Sunday nite. She had told me that she thinks they will be working 21 days straight. The bus will probably pick them up around 6am and they may not get back till 9pm.

So Today is Monday, April 6. It is her 42nd birthday. I talked with her this morning. They had to go to the Lobby and sign in. They don’t know if they will get an assignment today. They were told that once on the job, they might not have time to eat, so fill your pockets. They took a cab to Target and filled up on Groceries for their rooms. Their were many nurses in the Lobby waiting for their assignments. Tammy thinks they are a bit overwhelmed right now and they have more nurses arriving today. But they will get it together. I’m so glad she has Brittney with her and she is not alone. Times like this you need someone to talk with and lean on. At Orientation, they made it sound pretty grim. It was going to be difficult for them. They would see things and might be forced to do things that were not the norm. I’m sure they laid it on the line. When you watch tv and they interview the medical staff, it is really scary. The first Coronavirus case in New York was reported on March 1. Now as of April 6, their are 122,911 cases and 4161 deaths. In New York City alone, their are, 67,552 cases and 2,472 deaths. New York is scared and desperate. They have a shortage of ventilators, masks and other equipment. They are having to make judgment calls on life or death with many of the patients. So I hope that I will be able to talk to Tammy daily. She set up a family chat group for us all. My hope is that she will at least let us know every day that she is ok. It will be a long 3 weeks. We all Hope she stays safe and Healthy.

So Happy Birthday Tammy…..A Birthday to Remember…

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Tammy Graduated in the Summer of 2014 with her BSN. It was a long 5 years. She decided when she was in her 30’s and with 2 kids (single parent) that she wanted to do this. Scott had had an accident and lost his arm, and Ed, Tina’s husband had been in a 4 wheeler accident. Both were lucky to be alive. That’s when she decided she knew what she wanted. It became her passion. Of course being a single mom and no money she turned to the family. She formulated a plan. We all took turns Babysitting. Scott put her on his payroll so she had living money. Whoops #3, Carly showed up…..Small delay, but she persevered. Right after Carly was born, her Ex Boss Rita, from First Student Bus Company came to the house and took care of Carly. We also had a Baby Shower for her….All Diapers and Wipes…..lol…She had 2 years supply….It was Great…...Tina did her share of helping and babysitting. Brandy had her day to take Carly. I was babysitter/Taxi for Cassidy and Cameron after school. Even Aunt Connie helped when needed. On weekends she had friends help so she could study. Every semester we would get our new schedules to help her…..It was a Long….Long 5 years.….But she did it….Because she wanted it so badly, she applied herself and persevered……

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The whole family was behind her….”We ARE ALL SO PROUD OF YOU”…

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But it was a TEAM EFFORT……This is my Favorite Picture of the Kids….It was taken almost 9 years ago……..Tina, Scott, Tammy.…Their birthdays are all March and April. If it wasn’t for all 3 of them working as a team, Tammy would not have been able to achieve her dream. Now, I’m not implying they all get along….lol….You know theirs’s always sibling rivalry. I could go one forever with stories on that subject.

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SO HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAMMY….STAY SAFE….YOUR COMPASSION FOR PEOPLE WILL PULL YOU THROUGH. WE ARE ALL HERE PRAYING. THEIR ARE MANY, MANY PEOPLE PRAYING FOR YOU, FOR ALL THE HEALTHCARE WORKERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

Well all this happened in just 4 days…..Whew…..Everyday is a Roller Coaster….

“Coronavirus”…The World is Going Crazy

Look back at 1 week ago today. What were you doing? Did you ever think we would be in the state of fear that seems to be possessing everyone? One week ago, I was planning for our Farewell Potato Bake. Ordering our potatoes, setting up the grocery shopping list, butter, sour cream, veggies and dip etc. We were excited for our final concert show of the season. It was Leslie Blassing from the Island. She has such fabulous vocals. A gifted singer, who makes it look so easy. She was singing a Sunday Matinee at 2pm. She sings at the Island mostly, but it is Spring Break for the month of March and she likes to leave. lol. Tens of thousands of the college kids come from around the country and party. Concerts are set up at different locations and bars. Different weeks bring different groups of kids according to their Spring Break from college.

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I was of course aware of the Coronavirus. I had watched it from the beginning in Wuhan China. I watched the news on the Princess Boat in the harbor with the passengers all quarantined. I have an airplane tracker App. on my phone, so I even watched as the first 2 planes that flew home with the Americans from China. One went to Alaska and the other California . Then they came to San Antonio. Soon the US was reporting the Coronavirus was breaking out in different states. Finally it hit Texas but it was only in the northern part, so what’s the worry?

And then reality set in………Friday morning one of the lady’s from the park came in. She just left Dollar General. They were buying toilet paper, paper towels and water like crazy. She said the line was all the way to the back of the store. Wow….I had no idea they were hoarding. So I decided to immediately go out and join the band wagon…lol...My excuse was….”The Cat Needed Food”….I went to Dollar General, the parking lot was full. They were grabbing the carts from the people who were done shopping and loading in the car. So I grabbed a cart from some guy and went on in. I headed straight to the back. Went around the corner and a bunch of people were grabbing 24 pks of water off the rolling cart. By the time I got to it, the half of cart of water was almost gone. I got the last 2 pks. They had plenty of toilet paper and paper towels, but they were picked over. So I picked up 2 big double pks of toilet paper and a large pack of paper towels. Wow, couldn’t believe how people were shopping. That night I went to a Concert at the Harlingen Municipal Auditorium.

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Cici and I seen Burlap to Cashmere. 3 guys, 2 guitars, and a keyboard. Very talented. I suspected that their would be some empty seats, and their was, but not to bad. Saturday was when I realized what hoarding was going on. A friend was at Walmart and took a bunch of pictures….

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No Water

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No Dish Soap, cleaning products, Wipes, Diapers, and Anti-bacterial Soap

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No Beans….Really, even the Pinto and Navy Bagged Beans were gone.

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Even the Flour was picked over….The sugar was worse

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Bic Lighters……Why…Oh Why….

The people are panicking. Even all the Cooking oil, Canola and Wesson Oil was totally gone. Hand Sanitizers and Baby Wipes are gone everywhere.….Everyone wonders WHY all the Paper products…..But I seemed to join them to an extent. I’ve made sure I have doubles of all paper products and Laundry detergent. I figure if I have to be quarantined for 14 days, we should be fine. Rich and I have both been shopping at different times to load on a few things, even for the cat. He is set with his treats and regular foods. Rich even went to Progresso and loaded up on Meds for couple of months.

On Monday the CDC had started addressing the area with limitations on restaurants and social gatherings. We can not have over 50 in a group, and later it became 10. The upper management made the decision to close all Park functions. So the St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef and Cabbage was canceled. All activities, Bingo, Dances, Cards, Exercise classes and the Farewell Potato Bake have been canceled. So the season is now Officially Over. All the Parks in the Valley have now official canceled all activities. The Canadians have received letters from their insurance company’s. They have been given 10 days to get back home from the time Canada declared a National Emergency, or their insurance will be no good. Many of them are leaving this week. The Valley is emptying out. The Winter Texans are heading north towards home. Some stay because they say we are safer. Some are bored because nothing to do. Some have their family’s calling them to get home NOW…..Today many restaurants are closing dining rooms, only offering drive through and carry outs. All schools are closed.

Down at South Padre Island, all beaches, beach access points, and community buildings are closed. All Concerts canceled. They have 24 hours to move out their equipment. The kids are their already for Spring Break so now what…..Do they party in their rooms??? I really don’t agree with closing the beaches. At least on the beach, they are out in the open. They are not congregating together. They would be safer as far as passing the virus. But that is only my thoughts.

Now the Country is in panic. The Stock Market is Crashing, Canadian Border is Closing. Mexico has talked about it, but so far its open. The Hospital ships are moving to large cities to help. Their is a huge shortage of masks, ventilators, and other medical equipment. They can’t even keep food in the stores. Schools, restaurants, social functions, and many business are shut down. Even churches are holding services online. Unemployment is on the rise. The Cruise ship industry is in shambles, and the Airlines are flying with half empty planes…..

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So

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So now here we are. Our frig is full, we are practicing Social Distancing in public. We are told to wash our hands at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Do not shake hands or touch your face. We are in good shape. But we are on Social Security. Our check will still come. I feel bad for the young parents. They are trying to maintain a living and pay bills and feed their children. Many of them have jobs in the food industry, so now they are done for 14 days. Many are still working but now their children are home and they need child care.

So where and when will this end. At this time the Government is seriously talking about sending out relief checks to help. Right now they say this is 14 days, but the president makes comments that we really don’t know. It could last till July or August. It is going to destroy many business and lives.

In one week, we went from….Normal”…. to ….PANDEMIC”…. Definition….A disease Epidemic that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple continents, or world wide.

Who Would Have Ever Thought This Would Happen …. One Week Ago