The Struggles of Nurses in America During the 2020 Pandemic

During 2020, the news and concern of something massive was raging wildly across the globe. Either confusion or worry was set in the minds of billions. As it spread wildly from country to country, there was only one thing to do; prepare for the widespread chaos of the Coronavirus. 

Amber Hauer went to work expecting a normal day. She would rise up early, preparing a small breakfast, usually resulting in a full on meal whenever her children would wake up. She would then hop into her white Prius and start her daily commute from Divide all the way to Colorado Springs, arriving at the Peterson Space Force Base. 

Her and all the other nurses huddled together to discuss today’s assignments and news, going over anything that they would have to prepare for. She hadn’t heard of Covid, mainly due to her not reading or watching the news. She wasn’t much into the rumors, gossip, and other articles that news stations always liked to shove in your face. Her nurse manager had told them all of a new infectious agent spreading around, waving a metaphorical hand towards this new situation. 

The nurse manager exclaimed, “It may spread just like the bird flu or swine flu. We will be wearing paper gowns, gloves, and face masks.” 

Seemed as though it was nothing too dissimilar to anything else they faced during their time as medical officials. They continued with the protocols, wearing the paper gowns, gloves, and masks assigned, preparing for the agent when it arrives. 

A week later, information swarmed back. More serious reports of this virus flurried about, surprising everyone with a dose of dread. Cases flooded into the hospital, quickly diminishing the available rooms, with thousands more cases increasing. The hospital quickly decided to reinstate an old building that was previously a hospital. Amber, along with a few others, volunteered to manage the unit and get it prepped to house patients. During this, they realized that much of the technology and appliances were either outdated or broken. They had to rapidly adjust to the disadvantage, especially considering the lack of technology and resources they had available. 

Infection control came to the unit, inspecting the rooms and the crew of nurses reviving the outmoded hospital to a viable location to house more patients. The infection control alerted them, “You all will have to wear a paper gown, gloves, and surgical mask.” 

Yeah, like they hadn’t been doing that already. 

They had quickly opened the medical unit and let the rapid numbers flood in, taking in the chaos that runs wild. 

A week later, they were alerted once more, “You have to wear goggles and a head covering,” which they easily complied, dawning the required wear. 

The virus still raged, hundreds of thousands more cases crippling Colorado. Within a couple more weeks, they were quickly running out of supplies. Many of their patients were arriving at the unit on the brink of death. Amber and the other nurses were all frightened of receiving Covid themselves and enduring the same terrifying experiences, trying their hardest to continue following protocol and treating the horrifying numbers of patients. 

A week later, they had finally run out of paper gowns. They resorted to taking military tents, cutting them up, and turning them into makeshift gowns to use. Each time they left a room, another nurse would have to check them down by spraying them with a ‘special’ chemical. Amber was pretty sure it was just a bleach-water solution. 

Every once in a while, three and four star generals would walk around the unit, not medically experienced and commanding the nurses, telling them what to do. It was honestly quite frustrating for Amber and the other nurses. 

One day, Amber had a patient who was dying from the virus. An elderly woman whose husband was also dying from Covid. However, he was in another hospital. The elderly woman was begging to see her husband again, pleading with the nurses to bring her to him. Through a difficult process, Amber was finally able to have her sent to the same hospital her husband was at, so they could be together again. 

As Amber was placing her patient in position to be transported by a medical truck, Amber was notified that the woman’s husband had passed away. Amber, choked up, had to tell the woman and her son of the passing. The woman and her son were stricken by the knowledge they were given, yet, still desperate, wanted to see him one last time. Amber put them on the truck, taking them to go see him before they moved his body to make room for more patients. 

It is a moment no one ever wishes to go through. 

It was quite hard adjusting to how things have been. As cases began to dwindle, along with the introduction of the Covid vaccines aiding in the recovery, everyone could finally breathe. Amber and the other nurses still had to be cautious as new variants of Covid-19 were filtering through the world. 

Even though it was incredibly harsh and difficult for them, Amber and all nurses worldwide tried their best to help for the health and safety of everyone.