Reading about nurse Cordova, an ICU front line fighter at Kaiser, and the first to receive the vaccine, reminds me very much of my two former wives. My last wife, Ellen, worked in ICU a lot, as she had to support a family alone (like most families in the USA today), and teaching didn’t pay enough. My first wife, Judy, also worked in nursing homes to care for many of the warehoused invalids, and she also had one at home–me–a substance abuser.
The existential reality of their lives comes to life in Ms. Cordova’s description of her day:
But she has also focused more attention on her mental health as the pandemic has worn on. A typical work day, she said, starts at 5:10 a.m. with a 15-minute exercise video on YouTube.
“I adopted that practice in the last month,” she said. “Just to wake up and get ready for the day.”
She’ll leave home after 6 a.m., grab coffee, and then work from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Ms. Cordova has, over the months, learned the grim rhythms of an intensive care unit in a pandemic. She can guess which patients will end up on a breathing tube, and can discern from “the desperation in their eyes” when patients are struggling to take in enough oxygen.
Please, bless these people. They deserve any credit they can get, as the “war against diseases” never ends. The diseases of the bodies and the minds are what threaten us more than all the wars put together.