I see you, COVID. I see you in the hospitals each day. I don on my surgical cap, scrubs, goggles, N95 mask, and gown. Are you there?
I see you in the scared eyes of my patients, in their tears, and in their regrets.
I see you in their cough, gasps for air, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle aches.
I see you when they cannot smell or taste.
I see you when they have a heart infection, a stroke, or a blood clot in their lungs or legs.
I see you when their heart is inflamed, and their chest hurts.
I see you when they are very confused and cannot recognize me or their friends and families on facetime.
I see you when they are on their bellies in prone positioning.
I see you in the nasal cannulas, the heated high flow systems, and the bulky and rhythmic ventilators.
I see you in the code blues, also known as the cardiac arrests, and in the emergency airways.
I see you in crowded venues where people go unmasked and possibly unvaccinated. Later on in the news, we hear you have won! You successfully created an outbreak.
I see your supporters who carry picket signs and I cannot for the life of me understand this ever. Yes, everybody is free to make their own decisions. But I know COVID, you smile when this happens, as you now have free reign and control to infect.
Although you are an invisible virus, frontline health care workers see you every day. I wish the public did too.
I hope and pray humanity vaccinates, masks indoors and in crowded spaces, and washes their hands frequently so frontline workers like me, don’t have to see you anymore.
Lizbeth Hingst is a hospitalist.
Image credit: Shutterstock.com