They said we were heroes but they treated us like villains

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They said we were heroes but they treated us like villains

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My experience with the covid 19 pandemic was very different from a lot of people’s. Instead of staying home and not going outside, I had to work. I wasn’t a nurse or doctor or even a service industry employee. I did work in health care but registration. I also didn’t work at an ER or hospital. I worked at an urgent care that didn’t treat covid but did test for it. This urgent care was also in the middle of Los Angeles, California. I was doing patient registration in Los Angeles, California, at the peak of the pandemic when one in every three people had covid.
Since we were so understaffed and overworked, I easily worked about 60 hours every week for almost a year.
Now I’ve worked many jobs throughout my adult life. These include retail during Christmas, a theme park during summer and Halloween haunts, and the graveyard shift at a casino. Out of all those, the worst people and treatment I encountered were from the patients who wanted to be tested for covid 19 when we ran out of tests. We were a private company, and Los Angeles had multiple free test sites available to anyone in the LA area. You didn’t have to even to be a resident or have insurance. But none of that mattered; they were there and wanted to be tested. Even though it was 9 o’clock at night and we ran out of tests over four hours ago.
I know I’ll always be able to find an administration or clerical job in health care. I have over ten years of experience in that field. But, after what I went through during covid, I don’t think I will ever work in health care again. Every time someone says health care works are heroes, all I can think is, they have a funny way of showing it.

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This item was submitted on October 4, 2021 by Carissa Edwards using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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