topic_interest is exactly Air Force
2020-03-01Daily life at Head Quarters (HQ) Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) before COVID-19 and its restrictions was full of sounds and constant movement. It was customary to walk the halls and hear keypads beeping, and door locks clicking or overhear conversations as you pass people in the halls. Meetings were full of people, and the subtle roar of conversation was only stopped by the entrance of a General officer or other meeting chairpeople. As the restrictions for COVID-19 began to roll across the country, AFGSC was quick to implement them. First came a stop movement for personnel and a restriction of movements. There would be no or severely limited Permeant Change of Stations, and all temporary duty (TDY) was canceled for the foreseeable future. All personnel was to limit their office spaces to allow for six feet of distances and, if not capable of initiating telework procedures (which was an accomplishment in itself). This was the moment that life changed at HQ AFGSC. There would be fewer beeps and clicks. There would be no hallway conversations overheard because the hallways were nearly empty on a day-to-day basis. There were no more in-person meetings resulting in the muting of the subtle roars of conversations and the sudden silences created as meetings started. However, there was a new element created from COVID-19, a smell everywhere you went. Cleaning and self-sanitization ramped up at AFGSC. Every office you entered now had a hand sanitization station on a post or a wall. The restrooms and common areas cleaning increased, resulting in a lasting scent of bleach and other strong cleaners. But still, the most surprising thing was the silence that COVID-19 created in an ordinarily bustling Command.
2020-10-15COVID-19 has changed many aspects of our lives, one that I would have never thought was using a mask in public. I began my Air Force career as a surgical technician in 1992. Wearing a mask was part of the job. The mask was worn to protect the patients, we did not want to breathe germs onto the surgical site. It had secondary a secondary purpose as well, to protect us from the patients' bodily fluids. Though talking was allowed in the surgical suite it was limited and the distance between the team was usually less than a few feet. We also learned to use hand gestures to communicate with each other, for instance if a surgeon was suturing and wanted us to cut the suture she or she would use the index and middle fingers to mimic scissors cutting. In 2008 found myself in Iraq, this time I had to shield my face not because I was in an operating room but because the sand storms. The mask allowed me to venture outside the facilities for limited periods of time during the storms. As medical professionals, depending on where you work, the use of masks is not something new. What is new is that now the patients are wearing masks. At first glance this might not seem like much of an issue, occasionally patients would have to wear masks as well. As most of us have noticed, communication has been hampered with the use of masks. It is harder to here, muffled voices, it is harder to differentiate between similar words/sounds, and we cannot use the use or other senses to assist us such as sight. In addition patients whom might have difficulty breathing have a harder times breathing by wearing masks. It is imperative the communication between the patient and a clinician is flawless. If hearing is impaired or words are mistaken the consequences can be deadly. COVID-19 Has caused us to slow things down even further, we must double check and sometimes triple check to make sure we collected the correct information. We need to listen to what they are saying without the aid of their faces. Deaths caused by medical errors are a major concern for all, now add a barrier that is foreign to most patients and those errors can become even more common. Now I find myself in Biloxi, MS and in some strange way everyone became an OR Tech, we are all wearing masks. On a serious note, may we all learn and grow from this experience and not let it go to waste.
06/01/2020February 2020, Covid-19 was a drop in the bucket, it’s coming to the U.S. from China. What is it? Where did it come from? How will it reach us? Do we close our boarders? Stop international travel? Who is to blame? The first of the infected to arrive, from China, landed at Kelly Field San Antonio TX, and were set into quarantine. Fast forward about a month (end of March), and I am picking my dad up from BAMC (Brook Army Medical Center), he had been dropped off by his wife, and she was not allowed to stay at the hospital. He was seen at the ER because of stomach pain and continuous vomiting. What was different and a little strange to me was the fact that the hospital would not allow his wife to enter the building, even if she was the only means of his being. Because of strict city, state, and national orders to covid-19, no one other that the patient was allowed to enter the hospital. After two months of going in and out of the hospital, military doctors had discovered a cancerous tumor growing in his liver, it was putting pressure against his bile duct not allowing his liver to function properly. An emergency procedure was scheduled, but without notice, it was cancelled before he was operated on. A second procedure (Y90) was scheduled, but part 1 of a two-part procedure failed and three days later we said goodbye to Art Reyes Sr. Planning for his services were difficult. We could only invite 10 people to the church and 20 people to the funeral home, but after gathering information about my dad’s services, my heart went out to those that had lost family and friends due to the Covid virus. Their services were completely canceled. If a person had died in a hospital of Covid-19, they were to be transported from the hospital, cremated, and buried without any type of service Had it not been for Covid-19, I think that Art Reyes would have had the rapid medical attention that he deserved. Doctors would have been “on the spot” in treating him for his condition, and not meeting just once a month to discuss someone’s condition with cancer. Many times, I felt that he was dismissed because of the covid-rules in place, but there also did not have to be poor/no communication between family and doctors. Funeral services would have been normal for more than 20 people to celebrate his death, and many family members that could not travel from out of town, could have celebrates with us also. The bottom line was his cancer inevitably was the cause for his death, but it wasn’t immediate. His death was due to his failing organs that were secondary to the tumor growth, and medical doctors on a “Corona19 Vacation.”
2020-05-26Basic Military Training to resume in second location.