The COVID-19 Pandemic has sent healthcare workers through a physical and emotional whirlwind, and it is only when the dust settles that frontline workers have the opportunity to reflect on what they had just endured. Emily has been a Critical Care Nurse for the past eight years and describes the emotional rollercoaster of the pandemic. She discusses her initial, short-lived apprehension of the virus in terms of how her hospital and the United States are prepared to take on cases. She described the comprehensive precautions taken several years ago in anticipation of an Ebola Outbreak and how that compared to the lack of preparedness for the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Emily elaborates on the anticipated anxiety associated with seeing spikes around the country. At the same time, the case counts in her area remained low as well as the intense toll misinformation and conspiracy theories perpetuated both through social media and news media contributed to extreme frustration for those risking their lives on the front lines. Emily paints a heart-wrenching scene of the ICU when the surge of cases eventually hit Virginia in the fall of 2020, as well as the necessity of mental healthcare for healthcare professionals.
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