How Covid-19 has affected nurses and how did they deal with it?


Monica Sirois

Over the past 7 months, we have stepped into an ultra univerious. Our life has completely changed over the past year. We took many things for granted, masks being one of them. We all had to adjust to the harsh realities of what our world has come to. This included having to wear a mask when in public and social distancing when around other people. Nurses have been working long shifts to try to cure many of those who have been taken by covid-19. 

Nurses have felt the brutal end during this pandemic. They have taken on longer shifts and have more added stress during their shifts. With taking on more shifts in a hospital there is a bigger risk of catching the disease. Many nurses have feared bringing home the virus to their families and friends. Many Families were isolated from each other to prevent sickness within their families. Being worried about putting your family and friends at risk was one of the main factors my sister worried about. She is a nurse at Tufts Medical Center and is currently working on the covid floor that was originally a cardiac surgery unit. She shared with me some words saying“remember at the beginning we were not so sure how easy the viral infection spread, so nurses were concerned at work and at home.” This was true. We were all uncertain and uneasy about this infection and didn’t know much about it. As scientists and other researchers worked we figured out where it came from and some easy ways to stop the spread. 

Uncertainty was a theme that ran throughout my interviews. It was the uncertainty of how many new positive cases there were or if there were enough supplies to get through the day. My brother who works in the emergency room as a  nurse at the Holy Family Hospital in Haverhill says “There was a lot of uncertainty when walking into a patient’s room; you didn’t know if they were going to be positive or not.” Every day was a new day, meaning it could be the last day you saw certain supplies. Many hospitals worldwide were at a shortage of important supplies for Covid positive patients. Ventilators were the main thing many hospitals needed and wanted during the main wave of quarantine. My brother said “working on the emergency floor wasn’t any different than working on a normal floor.”  Although, “everyone who comes in with a cough or flu-like symptoms was treated like they were Covid positive and this put a real strain on the emergency room because there was only so much room for people who had Covid,” Luke said. 

Social distancing also came into play in hospitals. Many people would not be allowed to have family visit them while they get treated by the staff at the hospital they were at. “This was the hardest thing to witness,” my sister had told me. Because normally when someone is about to die you usually have your family with you to say your last goodbyes. However, you can not do this anymore. My sister had sadly told me “You see several individuals die with no family by their side; you try to hold their hand and reassure them they are safe but it’s not the same.” Not being able to say goodbye to your loved one is absolutely devastating and sad. My grandfather passed away about 6 months ago due to the coronavirus; he was older and his immune system was too weak to fight the deadly virus off. It was hard not to be able to say goodbye and hold a celebration for him. However, the thing that kept me going was family and love. Knowing that I had my family with me made it all easier, even through the hard times. Covid-19 has taken a lot of things away from us, but we are still working harder and stronger than ever before. Taking that, “overwhelming fear”, and facing that every day is something we will never forget about Covid-19.