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The start of a pandemic that shock the medical field to its core

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The start of a pandemic that shock the medical field to its core

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I have worked as a NYC paramedic for several years before the pandemic Covid-19 hit the world. As a paramedic, we were trained to deal with most situations that would happen on an emergency basis. We dealt with any situation as simple as a cut on the arm, to as complex as running a mega code on a cardiac arrest patient. When Covid-19 hit NYC, I was unaware of how bad it was going to get. At first, we thought it was a virus that was weaker than influenza, which is something we deal with on a regular basis. At this time, we would get one call a day that was related to Covid-19. I thought that everyone was over exaggerating. Over time, Covid-19 patients became more frequent, and in the matter of a month, it was the only type of call we would get. It was as if every other medical problem that people had went away. But this was because everyone that wasn't infected with Covid-19 was too afraid to go to the hospital.
In the month of May 2020, things started to take a turn for the worst. People were starting to get critical on each call, where my partner and I would need to resort to extreme measures like endotracheal Intubation to help them breath. Sometimes, even intubation wouldn’t be enough, and the patient would go into cardiac arrest from the lack of oxygen in the body. It was a very difficult time for me because I felt powerless to stop people from dying to his terrible disease. In June 2020, it got so bad that the hospitals did not have capacity to accept anymore patients that came in. People were put in hallways, next to nursing stations, and hospitals had to dedicate entire floors to Covid-19 patients as they came in.
Then another problem started to rear its head. My Co-workers and friends started to get sick. Those of us with families had to also make a choice, either quit their job to protect their families or live apart from them until this was all over. We did not have enough EMT’s and Paramedics to staff the ambulances we had running on any given day. Those of us who were not sick picked up anywhere from 60-90 hours a week. This struggle continues now as well. All over the world, there are not enough emergency services personal to cope with the amount of call volume that we are given each day.
Over time we got adjusted to the madness and medicine advanced enough to be able to treat patients so that most did not become critical. Also, the vaccine was made available to the public and things started to get better. I shared my story to show a side of the pandemic most don’t get to experience. It shows how unprepared we were, and how we were able to prevail overtime. I will also include a video to show some insight on the pandemic that was taken with one of the companies I work with.
I am a Junior at Brooklyn college

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09/29/2021

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This item was submitted on September 29, 2021 by [anonymous user] using the form “Share Your Story With Us” on the site “Brooklyn College New York”: https://covid-19archive.org/s/brooklyncollege

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