While the world seems to have come to a halt and the authorities mandate that people to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, there are those who, despite these orders, are fulfilling another duty.
This is the case for the more than 152,000 healthcare professionals in Nevada who are essential to the health and well-being of Nevadans. One of these professionals is Angela Mora.
Mora, who is 27 years old, works at Renown Hospital. She is an intensive care technician who cares for patients with heart problems. Having undergone open heart surgery in 2016, she understands the circumstances many of her patients are going through. Now, more than ever, her role as a professional has changed and what used to go unnoticed by her, now under the new circumstances, becomes very important in her routine as a professional.
“From day to day things are constantly changing. Everyday that I work I have to wear an N95 mask, all day. And just wearing the mask all day is kind of hard because it’s hard to breath. I’m constantly walking, sometimes running back and forth between patients, so that adds on to me working harder because I can’t breath, so I think I’m getting a little bit more tired because of it,” Mora said
She hopes that everything will be back to normal soon as there has not been the same volume of patients entering the hospital since the quarantine began.
“I think that’s because either people aren’t coming to the hospital because of COVID-19 and they’re just avoiding the hospital in general right now. We are preparing for a big intake in patients, especially once the quarantine is lifted. We do anticipate that people are going to start coming to the hospital, and that our hospital is going to be filled with patients again,” said Mora.
Her routine has drastically changed at work. She has changed the way she takes care of herself and takes precautions against COVID-19. Every day she takes off her shoes and scrubs before going home. But what has changed most for her has been her mental state.
“I’m always scared that I’m going to bring the coronavirus home,” she confessed.
Although this possibility exists, she takes all necessary measures to ensure that this does not happen. Mora disinfects everything she brings inside from the outside before entering her home, where her family awaits her. Although it has been a little difficult to adapt to these new circumstances, it is necessary to protect the health of her entire family.
“I have a three-year-old niece at home and explaining to [a child] thats excited to see you after not seeing you for 12 hours is very hard because they will run to you and want to hug you,” said Mora. Now, the first thing the little girl does is ask if she can get close to her.
As a mother, she makes sure to explain to her family about the virus. She makes sure everyone takes the necessary measures to reduce their chance of catching coronavirus. She is also the one who goes to the store to pick up the groceries and helps her 14-year-old daughter with her distance learning tasks.
Her co-workers also take steps to protect themselves.
“We’re all taking it very seriously. I think at least for the coworkers that I speak to, we all feel the same way. We’re all really careful. Washing our hands a million times a day, sanitizing our phones and our things before we leave. A lot of us have a routine when we get to the car, we will sanitize our belongings, our lunch boxes and things like that,” she said.
Mora and her colleagues know how important it is to receive reliable information about the coronavirus.
“I think because we work in the hospital, we know it’s [coronavirus] real. We know it’s happening. I think a lot of people don’t realize or maybe think it’s not real, it’s a hoax or I can’t catch it if I go to the store or if I’m hanging out with my friends. It’s real,” Mora said emphasizing the threat.
Mora urges the community to be cautious and aware of the situation.
“It is important that the Latino community take this seriously and take precautions in this situation because this is real. A lot of people are dying and it’s important that you stay home now, that you wash your hands, and that you disinfect the things you bring in from outside, like the things you buy in the store,
“It is important that we are united and do this for the good of the entire community,” she said. –CC