« Reveal

Into the COVID ICU

2021-02-27 | 🔗

Dr. Paloma Marin-Nevarez graduated from medical school during the pandemic. We follow the rookie doctor for her first months working at a hospital in Fresno, California, as she grapples with isolation, anti-mask rallies and an overwhelming number of deaths.  Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Revealeth brought to by progressive one of the countries leading providers of Otto Insurance with progressives name, your price tool. You say what kind of coverage you're looking for and how much you want to pay and progressive will help you find options that fit within your budget, use the name, your price tool and start an online quote today at progressive dot, com, price and coverage match limited by state law From the seller for investigative reporting, MP are eggs. This is reveal I'm outlets, half a million people, have died in the? U S from covered. Nineteen we're gonna, spend the whole show today, looking at them endemic through the eyes of one young doktor, a doctor has been found, her footing on the front lines of one of the greatest public health disasters in this century. When I started this good afternoon, graduates, families, faculty and staff
back in June, twenty twenty Paloma Marine virus spoke at her vote all graduation ceremony at Stanford Med School, let's burial class of twenty twenty. This absolutely not the way that we envisioned medical school, ending bloom is one of more than thirty thousand new doctors who started medical residency last year heading out there hospitals and clinics across the country to learn the basics of how to be a doctor just like that. Do any year, except now those hospitals and clinics being overrun with the virus. This has a lot of pressure on you and I will be the first to admit that this is scary. Will alma graduated. There was still so much we didn't know about covered the first wave of infection.
Was slowing and a second large a wave was about to begin as the first graduating class of physicians in the middle of this pandemic. I have no doubt that you will work tirelessly and often at the expense of your own. Well, being you cannot do everything perfectly, and you cannot do everything alone. We teamed up with Keyser Health lose and spent the past eight months. Checking you nobleman as she started. Working community has been devastated by covert we're graduating too can systems that have historically failed. The poor and failed people of color go with. Ninety has been deadlier for native american black ability, no people compared to white people, Latinos
within three times is likely to be hospitalized and more than twice ass, likely to die from the virus. As a doctor in a predominantly latino part of California below Mobile, confront these disparities first hand reporter Jenny, gold from cars health lose picks up the story. Justice Paloma is about to start at one of the hardest hit areas in California. I started talking to Paloma right before she started residency. It's been clear to me, since those very first conversations that she's kind of a superstar Stanford graduation Speaker first doctor in her family former, Greed science teacher. So can you start to spy? Introducing yourself telling me a little bit about you you're, so my name is below my follow my money nobody's. I have two last names and I have to last names because I was born in Mexico oh, where people typically when Paloma was nine. Her father died suddenly of a heart attack
and her mom decided to move her and her two siblings from Durango Mexico to LOS Angeles California, where they packed into a one bedroom apartment. So that meant that my mom had to raise as as a widow and pretty much as a single mother after coming to United States Paloma grew up in an almost entirely latino neighbourhood. Her mom or tensor worked to jobs. Wanted a superpower and another at a ninety nine cent store and the whole amount can dream thing. It kind of paid off police and her siblings. They all earned college degrees. The moment. I've been to Williams College. I realise that I was like rarely poor compared to like my extremely wealthy classmates, and that's when I realized that there's a tonne social inequity. She sees medicine as a way to heal some of that inequity. So when it came time to pick where she would do her resin She thought about where she could make a difference and shit
about her mom, who doesn't speak English when she goes to the doktor she's worried about what might be wrong with her health wise, but she also feels this incredible. Shame and not being able to speak the language and she feels like she's a burden I feel like patients should never feel that way. All they should worry about is how the doktor is going to help them feel better Only six percent of doctors in California are latino compared to nearly forty percent of the state's population and nationally Latinos are twice ass, likely to be uninsured I wanted to go to a place where I was needed. First and foremost, this was the patient population. I wanted to take care of, and so it is my privilege and my pleasure to come to Fresno friends,
it was a majority latino county. It's part of California is Central Valley. A vast area of farmland in the middle of the state that supplies about a quarter of the nation's produce. This region often has a hard time recruiting healthcare workers. Paloma went to one of the top Med school in the country. She probably could have had her pick of residency programmes, but she wanted to go to Fresno It was so certain that you bought the sweatshirt before she even found out you gotten in our I'd everybody. She recorded this Instagram yo in March when she got the new view of mad at you. When she finishes med school a few months later, Paloma packs up her apartment gets in the car and start striving towards Fresno putting the Stanford Campus gleaming in the rearview mirror she's, leaving one of the richest communities and the country, Silicon Valley for one of the poorest
in three children and Fresno County lives below the poverty line. Many of the people who pick the crops in this area are low wage migrant farm workers and they keep coming back to these fields day after day, despite the risks of covert entering fresh know. The first thing that I noticed was just green like a bunch of green lots of farms and then eventually, the farms are to become like grape vines and then you know you're really on the central valley when, like the Trump sign start to come up California Central Valley is a republican stronghold and the Fresno county sheriff, refuse to enforce the governors mask mandate by June twenty twenty. It's been four months since the first Kova case was recorded in the U S, and already more than hundred thousand people have died. Today the country is reached another sobering milestone in the corona virus pandemic, surpassing two million cases.
warning. Sign hospitalizations are surging in many states I speak to Paloma over Zoom she's, just. settling into her new apartment in France. Now so I see behind you, all your walls are blank now totally. Why did you will then have the backing going? I moved in about a week ago the unpacking been good, it's been really exciting, it's the first time she had a place of her own and she adopts a kitten to keep her company he's just really adorable very play, for What's his name, his name is John Charleston. Oliver, his real name is now has given name chuck. Paloma is about to start training to be a fully fledged ear. Doktor something she's been working towards four years, an emergency medicine. We talk a lot of out, being people are run into a burning building when things are like breaking down and when things are chaotic like
the ones who can have run in there and try to figure things out are you on June, twenty six, twenty twenty Pomona has her. First shift in hospital have a wonderful day. Coloma is working at community regional medical center in downtown Fresno. It's big! ten stories high and six hundred and eighty five bet it's a safety net hospital that serves lots of low income and uninsured patients, and it doesn't hello, my long to notice how different things are here compared to Stanford, I'm starting to see just how the the shortage of medical providers really translates to patients waiting a very, very long time for care, be noted the waiting room starts to fill up quickly and the day, there's
hallway where patients wait for care- and you know it's really hard to see them waiting for the most part. hello must first be weeks, aren't so different than they'd, be any other here. She's ensure give her own patients taking their medical histories performing exams and coming up with a plan for care, anonymous, minutes notice, her supervisor the attending doktor could quiz her about pretty much anything. Like tell me the name of every nerve and the hand. So it's almost like you have this like Jain Norm as hat, and it's just full of facts. Engines have to pull like five random facts out of this joint. and now the sometime it'll get it likewise like. This was actually relevant, and sometimes they won't was there a moment when you are like. I don't feel like a doctor like falling on my face. Oh all, the time like literally leg, I call myself the ceo of hot mess central like I feel like a train wreck, all that.
Reality check here when I interviewed Paloma supervisor later she told me Paloma is super organised, definitely not a train wreck that I've been told that I'm really harsh on myself, but I also if our Cobb Ivory, like making fun of myself as how I got through things early on Polonias programme tries protect residence by keeping them away from covert patients, but that will eventually change as the pandemic gets worse, for your hospitals are rushing to make room as they prepare for a surgeon, covert. Nineteen patient or we are seeing a dramatic spike in cases in California. Over the past twenty four hours White House taskforce advising hotspots to buckle down. This is the beginning of the second wave of covert cases in the: U S. As infection rates climb, the virus catches up with Polonias personal life.
On July, seventh, twenty twenty during one of our regular check ends. She breaks the news to me: actually, my mom, just our covert y yeah, so my mom tested positive last week. My mom doesn't like to tell me anything. She doesn't want me to worry, and I told her hey MA am. I need you to talk to me and to tell me the truth and she finally did and the moment when she said I've lost my sense of taste. I said I am diagnosing. You will go right now. I need you to go, get a test, a sob. Her moms case is fairly mild, but back then
settle in France. No more and more patients are coming in with severe cases of covert p p is in short supply. I have been getting the emails from management to always be very thoughtful about the ppp that were using asking us to be very thoughtful about the tests that we're ordering so that we can come serves eyes, but it does make We wonder like what is it gonna look like a month for now, three weeks said hello. My gets a day off before she rotates into the icy you. She goes for a hike but out the trail. She can't stop thinking about covert, partly because so many of the hiker she's passing aren't wearing mask I have this dissonance between me going into work, knowing that we have this incredibly, contagious virus and we are respecting and doing
best to stay safe in the hospital, and then the general public, just frankly doesn't really seem to care. Then I think that's been one of the most disheartening things. In July, protesters organise and Anti Mask rally takes over a city block They moved signs that we hoped for Trans european Protests, ironical rules that govern our Gavin Newsome has placed on us he's all just gather, and without worrying masks and would like their signs that our legs and a tyranny he said number one priority was the carve has been lacking? and, unlike the whole, bottle seo the hospital people,
I will now begin dawning my thesis on July. Twenty twenty twenty Coloma has our first shift in the intensive care unit, just as the second wave of covert is near, Its peak my boy down the icy you is where the very thickest Corbett, patients and up and many of them around ventilators Are you wearing my money? Five math ready to go in a few days, Interpol, Lomas time in the icy you peoples in the region are so overwhelmed that the air force deployed teams of healthcare workers to help Coloma works beside them, The central valley is now the states hotspot for Vancouver nineteen as it seeing more than double the state. Why positivity rate
today is the last day of July, and it is the twelve day in a row that I've been working Since I started my, I see you rotation I have been working for two weeks straight without a break. I'm out exhausted, I'm so tired. by the end of July, total number of covert deaths in the. U S reaches a hundred and fifty thousand the most Any country in the world for first year. Residents learning to deal with death is a part of becoming a doctor, but this year this is all around them Loma has been a doctor for just five weeks and is already too care of some of the sickest patients on the front lines of pandemic, and things are about. to get even harder there
so many patients here who have covered seventeen year old patient with Cobain eighty year old patient with Kobe fifty year, old, patient with covered is just everywhere. That's next from the centre for investigative reporting and are eggs. Hey: hey, hey: this is a land. If you're listening to me, right now than you know, reveal, does hard hitting investigative journalism. You can support what we do by becoming a member just text. The word reveal two hundred and forty seven, four thousand seven hundred and forty seven standard. Data rates apply and you can text stop at any time. Again. Text reveal two hundred and forty seven, four thousand seven hundred and forty seven. Thank you
from the centre for investigative reporting and p r ex this is reveal a reality Anyone who has ever seen an episode of Grace Anatomy kind has an idea what medical residency is all about: working, hard hours for not a lot of money while carry an average of two hundred thousand dollars a medical school debt getting dropped in the deep in making mistakes. and learning fast in doing it as a team, a cohort, but that's not what it looks like this year. New residents like Doktor Paloma, Moraine Varas, are battling cove it in some way alone can hang out with other new doctors because of social distancing at its heart Could someone new when you can't until one person from another wearing her hospitals, grubs, mask and other PPP colleagues Sometimes don't recognizer
Coloma says that's things a little since she's at the hospital, all the time working in average of eighty hours a week, its isolating reporter Jenny gold of As our health news has been following Loma for the last year, try to understand what it's like to be a brand new doktor staring down this pandemic. By early August. Paloma is in the middle of her icy. You rotation covered is surging in color when your central valley and many of the sickest patients are coming to Paloma Hospital in Fresno I'm here setting in the cafeteria. I was locally able to sign out early today and rare occasion because its A long time since I have been out of the hospital and been able to see the sunlight in the icy you, parliament
usually in charge of five patients at a time which is a lot in older resident, tells her that in Non Kobe Times, she probably would have had just two She monitors her patients, ventilators and heart monitors and checks in them constantly. It's really hard to say no to families that they can't come visit. Families We spend a lot of time with loved ones in the icy you they play music, offer prayers and ask questions of the doctors and nurses, but days. The icy you is a lonely place. There are so very strict policy right now that the only people or allowed to visit their loved ones is if they are actively dying. So it falls to Paloma and the other hospital staff to bridge the gap. At the end of every day she stepped into an office and calls her patients families to give them an update. The news is used
not good, and these conversations are complicated by all the misinformation but floating around at this point there was this one particular interaction that I had with patients family. Member asking me a lot of questions about. Different treatments that have been on the media, so things about hydrochloric when Liddy doctors they did is extremely successful. They hydroxide glorified much of the last year, former President Donald Trump promoted hydroxide Chloric, when even though study after study found that the drug is not effective at treating covert, it was just one example of many. Were the president helped push dangerous misinformation, feeding scepticism about masks? making parliament's patients question what she was telling them after I let the firm Amber know that the patient had covered the family members. Let me know beds, they didn't really think that cove, it was
thing. It makes me sad that people kind of have to wait until covert hid, somebody that they love for them to start believing in it a brand new doctors like Paloma, face a catch. Twenty two on the one hand their needed now more than ever, but on the other there still learning, and only have so much to offer the icy you Coloma, seeing more and more patients who don't make it out just to keep calling families to tell Their loved ones aren't getting any better day after day. It's exhausting- and I can hear it taking a toll on her.
There is one thing that I can do well right now as an internal. The pandemic is connecting with the families, and I find that to be a really really important responsibility. I might not have all the answers that I can make time to give them an update, Sometimes Paloma stays late, volunteering to call the families of other doctors patients, so she can speak to them directly in Spanish. Without an interpreter there his family, who spoke to who told me that they haven't talked to a doctor in a while. You know, of course, that whereas spanish speaking family and to set the end, when I'm about to hang up the patient's wife,
just ask me. So what was your name again and I just had a doctor moraine her little daughter money. You know she was like. I am so grateful you taking care of my husband there they're, not there, not a patient who I can confidently say it will be able to make it a day of so afraid of having to talk to disperse that give the bad news after they said that I'm afraid link I'm afraid of this patients family being grateful, for doctor who doesn't know what she's doing I wanted to know what it's like to be a family, but on the other side of the line with Coloma Denise Munoz agreed to talk to me, her dad is a truck.
driver sixty nine years old and his actually the only covert patient Paloma treated, who she remembers, getting off of a ventilator and out of the hospital. A recent study found that about half of covert patients on ventilators dont survive, since you again so much for doing that, I will just be incredibly. They re right now, more than ever in this debate, it yeah- I can imagine when I reached Denise she's at home, taking care of her dad. She happens to be a nurse in a covert unit in southern California. She knows how busy things are, so she was even more impressed. By Paloma calls for me her voice. She brought me comfort. She told me that she would call me every day that she was assigned to my dad to give me enough. They followed through she probably every single day, which was just amazing. To me. I use with new. Ok, I'm gonna get it
Luxembourg today it doesn't matter what time she's gonna call me these says she didn't get to talk to her dad much in the hospital and she wasn't allowed to visit. Paloma became the life. For her and her family, especially when they had to make difficult decisions about his care when she called who said that I was gonna be activated scary conversation for me when I hear Bene: leaders like oh no, this bad, he presented it in this is not a bad thing he's getting worse, but this is gonna, help him and that's exactly the same thing. I told my sister's, which I think brought comfort to them as well. Her dad needed to be part of these conversations tail and he doesn't speak much English. So having
spanish speaking, doktor like Paloma was critical. I don't really know that he would understand. If somebody spoke to him in English about medical staff that was going, I felt for her to speak Spanish. There would be no confusion or him saying yes to something that he didn't really understand the ways it calls it has disproportionately communities of color has exposed vast inequalities that have long defined this country, many of Columbus patients in the icy you like Denise, his dad or latina. For me, it's really hard to witness more people just getting absolutely destroyed by covered no way that often where the ones on the front lines more than
of latino workers in California or in jobs that have been deemed essential during the pandemic, so it's hard to see as working so hard and then paying the price for it in the icy you Coloma is on the front lines of dealing with these inequalities and she's the one who has to talk to patients and their families when it becomes clear that the patient isn't going to get better its parliament's job to walk families to really difficult decisions about when the medical interventions used to prolong patients. Life have started to cause more harm than good and weather time to shift away from aggressive treatments to focus instead
I'm giving the patient comfort as they die. She sometimes rehearsal with her team head of time about what she's going to tell a family. I called her to ask: what do you say: there's a very tricky shift that needs to occur. We want them to understand that at this point there health of their loved ones and their prognosis is so poor that us continuing to do invasive things like ventilating them through a machine like injecting them with medicines, is not doing good any more and is causing harm.
and so it's a lot of passing it's a lot of listening. It's a lot of giving the family the space to cry it's my job and I come in, and I do this multiple times a day, but for them it's an incredibly significant event in their life. Did you learn this invent school due to producers is talking just figured out No, they don't teach you in medical school Paloma remembers a one hour seminar, but that's about it. I spoke to diplomas mentor at Stanford and he agreed that medical school spend a lot of time on topics like molecular by reggie, but not enough on issues like talking about the end of life. I think that we need to improve our fluency in discussing emotions. We need are improvers scale and sitting in a room with someone in silence and just letting them cry.
Letting them grieve. Medical residents like Paloma, almost always have to confront the death of a patient at some point in their training, but because of cove it. The number of deaths is just overwhelming Paloma then finds herself witnessing a patient's last words or their final breaths I hold in my memory, one of the last Nor actions that this person had with someone on earth one day she helps interpret a conversation for a spanish speaking patient, who then dies just hours later. Paloma was the last person to speak to them in their native language. a gift, but it's also a gift that I wish that I haven't received. Really. I wish that I would have been able to prove those last moments to the family Every time I talked to Coloma during her month in the icy you she tells about another patient she's lost another grief stricken family she's, we're
almost nonstop one week. She Eighty seven hours in the icy you I can tell she's feeling run down and I'm starting to worry about her a little her mom or hence here is also concerned, and I will up to about five tax, for my mom was kind of worried, because I have it called while so I'm gonna that now Mummy understand man is Burma, but I guess I ve also came up very well and it must be done. Serum Hortensio does her best not to show it, but Paloma tells me that she knows her mom worries about her. Just like taxes, our blessing everyday liked, my mom's very religious. We read me no one of her blessing.
sure there and spanish ok, so she sang she's like Barlow. That's how should cause me by look at your stay low, meaning to throb our whole begin, noting, as could get out until the ample get acquainted with their heart dollars. Dumbarton GAD told the Siberian impossible until the EU. The australian mean a bucket you this. I must inform us, and what does that mean just means I got. I hope that way gives you wisdom in your work, and I hope you pronounce a favor dialogue on my hope that it he protects you and takes care you and everybody is well done- that God helps you ass, you guys help people. Then she sends you as every day wow. That's pretty lovely and she's like blessing, like all the other doctors and nurses, and it's like so cute, and there was one day when she forgot to do it in the day was really busy and a joke with my team. You know why
eyes is cause. My mom didn't send her blood, maybe a lion every one I've talked to who knows. Coloma tells me she's an extrovert which makes this time feel even or isolating. She doesn't know anyone in Fresno she's trying to make friends it's hard when she can't even hang out in person with her fellow residents, it's not like, they can just grab a drink or go out for brunch. I feel pretty disconnected from people right now, honestly, and I've had to leg. You know call my therapist and call my old friends just because I just dont really feel very connected to people right now, and it's nobody's fault. It's just the pandemic. Well, I hope you're getting some quality time with the kitty, at least he actually my mom and dad I'm taking him for a bet. Oh really, I was not home at all to take care of him like. I was feeding him and cleaning his letter box where he was
getting really anxious and he was not playing. So my mom took em. Now that shook the cat is gone. Paloma is all alone. When she gets home, I can tell worn out and lonely. So many healthcare workers are struggling right, all over the world, people are trying to cure them on calling than hero back in the spring of twenty twenty eight, when the first wave of Cuba cases hidden New York, there was an rightly ritual her people clapped for health care workers being pots and pans every day when Paloma heads into the hospital. She walks pass. These signs a super and silhouette wearing a mask and the words he arose work here. It bothers her. I don't feel like a hero. That's not me I'm not doing the impossible. I'm not bringing people back. You know
course were doing the best that we can't, but at the end of the day, people are still dying. Theirs What's that I wish I could give to my family's like their ability to visit their loved ones. Their ability, Have those moments that I have taken with me of seeing their loved one last words last interactions with the world last, up their eyes on their own. I wish that I could give that to them. I wish that was my superpower by September hello my finishes her icy rotation. She gets a much needed vacation. Drives down to allay to see her family for her birthday. She stays in an being due to keep them safe is kind of nice in some ways than my mom had already recovered from covered, and so it didn't feel a socially irresponsible.
to go, see her. They got me a really nice has. Let us take my mom made me pull slowly. It was also it was a big one. She turned thirty. I grew up and like a mexican household, with a lot of like soap operas. Unlike those kind of like the measure of a woman successes, finding a man having children- and I guess only thing I've done in my life- is get a doctor it and I have no partner or no children. So, according to mexican soap operas, I would be a failure, but that's ok when she gets back to the hospital she stopped by the icy you to check in on her former patients. She has a list of people she's been wondering about. I went back to look at the ones that I had taken care of, and
Go down the list of seed deceased deceased disease to cease deceased, all of them, except one, had died on September, twenty second, twenty twenty another milestone. Two hundred thousand Americans have died of covert, but the second wave of infections has finally flattened and things seem to be turning around Around the same time, Coloma gets a little space from the virus. She begins. Rotating through departments were covered as less prevalent, and she sent me audio despatches along the way thirst first, she had said trauma ward, where she works. The overnight chef then running around responding to a bunch of pages. It is just a or of time before I get another page. I'm currently whereas the page I knew I was just a matter of seconds in October. She moves to anesthesiology
where she learned how to integrate a patient back. They brought spare Rwanda failure oxidants what we want to fill your lungs with oxygen aware we go the tube in November. She works with, It's a pediatric clinic awry. Let's see what work her cup, I'm gonna go with dinosaurs or whales. Today, let's go with whales, Mammal Monday, gathering one new skill after the next is exhilarating, my brain it's just swelling with knowledge, and it's really a meal to see the growth. I mean. I've only been a doctor for a few months and so just to think that I'm gonna continue to have this incredibly steeple curve of learning is pretty exciting, but by November call the cases has started to climate,
on November eighteenth, the? U S, records two hundred and fifty thousand Kova deaths. Then come the hull days. Millions of Americans, ignoring warnings from the sea d, seen not to travel to nationals are seriously concerned. Thanksgiving gatherings are going to amplify and already overwhelming Pablo Thanksgiving surge experts feared is now here just beginning to cripple states like California This morning, the corona virus, accelerating through the holiday season, another million more infections added in the past six days, public health officials pleaded with Americans to please stay home over the holidays, but merely didn't listen across the country. This is the beginning of the third wave and it's the one that hits California the hardest daily cases in the state. Double then quadruple its hearted
scribe. Just how much worse, the situation is by December compared to July when Paloma was in the. I see you looking at the graph of the surgeon, this summer wave looks like a tiny mall hill compared to the Mount Everest of the winter wave and once again, Fresno is a hot spot. Covered is wiping the floor where the United States of America right now on the emergency department, the entire. What we call the Red zone where they take the absolute ciccus patients husband too many. I see you. consultations are spilling out. The hospital is better at the seams by MID December, the EU as its three hundred thousand deaths and Fresno they're. Just a handful of icy you beds, available in the entire cow that's one below my gets. The email one,
Not that I got today was from my programme director, letting us that they need an icy use in some other residents have started to get symptoms. The hospital is, looking for residents to go back into the eyes Eu Justice cases are at their worst. When we come back, Paloma makes a very big decision. That's next on reveal. If you like, we do, and you want to help well, it's pretty simple. Just right, it is a review on apple pie. Guess it's easy and only takes a few seconds, just open the apple podcast up on your phone search for reveal. Then scroll down to where you see right or review and their tell them. How much. You love the host Europe.
It makes it easier for listeners to find us, and it really does make a difference, and if you do it, you will get a personal. Thank you for me like right now like thank none him. Not not. You yeah you thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. From the centre for investigative reporting in p r ex this is reveal analysis, health care, where Others have made enormous sacrifices this past year, Keyser Health New The guardian found that at least thirty four hundred healthcare workers in the: U S have died from covert. Nineteen nurses were hit the hardest, making up nearly a third of all deaths and two thirds of healthcare workers who died
people of color this week were riding shot gun beside a brand new doktor a first year medical resident as she finds her footing on the front lines of code when we left off. It was December and Doktor Paloma, Marina Varas had a big decision to make sure Scotland email asking if she'd be willing to volunteer to go back, into the icing you at this point her huh community, regional medical center and Fresno is overflowing with covert patients. Radicalized. You usually takes care of up to twenty patients right now they have nearly sixty the short staff and the team needs help Fass. So Paloma has a decision to make Jenny go a reporter with Keyser Health NEWS brings us the rest of Bologna story, its December fifteenth, twenty twenty. When polemic gets that email
asking her to go back into the icy you she's in her apartment, staring at her computers in trying to decide. Should she go back into the breach. I took a problem fundamentally forty five seconds before replying to this email, saying that I was happy to go back to help at this point its for months since Paloma was last in the icy you, she still the process all the death she saw there? It's a big risk to go back. motionlessly and physically and Paloma. Could weeks away from a vaccine, going back, the riskiest place in the hospital is scary, but it exactly where she wants to be. When I I am a faculty member. Hopefully one day in a medical school and my students, Ask me: what did you do and the twenty twenty pandemic? I wanted to be able have an answer that I felt proud about that email them program, director sand was my answer
number twenty first, four days before Christmas, its I must first day back in the icy you and it's a long one. She us into her car at the end of a thirteen hour shift Finally, take off the mask the icy you was busy the last time she was here in August, but so much worse. Now, when I came into the icy you gotta vision, remember how long ago that was, there are only two do teams, and now there's like five is absolutely bursting at the seams. It is so full it is so busy. These are not good conditions for doctors or patients. A recent study found that when I see you were at their most crowded during the pandemic covert patients were twice ass, likely to die, but there
Not much doctors and nurses can do there just scrambling trying to provide the asked care they can to the most patients to various Christmas Eve, December force Twenty twenty now today was rough. I was probably die at around five p m today and I state an extra almost three hours. Coloma gets her first of the vaccine that day you stay late in the icy you there's a patient, their hoop alone. It's been taken care of already lost her family member to cover it now she's sick to all the patient. Wanted was to go home and Christmas with her dog instead she's dying in the hospital I followed, patients wishes and I do not allow them to die alone. I
there and the patients bedside nurse was also there and she was so sweet. She was no kind of She knew her hair and lightly her own, our head ass. If she was comforting her, I got very em. no and I cried- and I allowed myself to cry at the moment because it was overwhelming- and I think it was kind a combination of a very long weak. It might not sound like much, but I'm starting to notice a change in Paloma in the past he's given herself a really hard time for crying, but this time she doesn't beat herself up Paloma seems like she's figuring out how to protect her own mental health. Even as the pandemic, rages around her. I've had to be varies. T jag about my own self preservation. You know, if I run into a burnt building and I burn myself, and then I become another casualty than us on helping anybody on our next call. I ask her if things field
different this time. In the I see you, I felt like this power, where I could advocate for my patients burst, says before or this rotation. I was like. Well, I'm just an inter an arm. Really scared, like you know- and I was just ignore- I'm gonna handle it. I'm the doktor now Garth, Coloma hearing you talk about this just feel completely different than the last time. You were an icy area. You have confidence, you are confident as a doctor. Yes, but what do you think closed? I do think that I have some skills. I remember a lot of things that I learned in my first rotation. You know on how to take care of patients with cold like I usually would ask my attending. Ah, do you want x, ray for every day for a patient, so that you can track the progress over time. I didn't do not anymore. I asked myself that question I said: do you Doktor Paloma render virus. Do you
need the x ray to figure out. What's going on with the patient, you know, unlike pushing myself, to do those things. on January third, twenty twenty one, the? U S, hits three hundred and fifty thousand deaths from covert This is my second or a few days later, Paloma. Apps out of her time and the icy you and she is able to get hurt. can dose of the vaccine extra the left side- descent, no daily covert king, in California, are still at an all time. High fifteen minutes- and you over there on those terse perfect. Thank you so much author. Thank you very much. I've been talking to Paloma for the past. Eight
I witnessed at first hand the challenges she's faced and the risks she's taken on throughout the pandemic vaccine is a glimmer of hope. Thinking about all the people like Coloma who risked so much. It made me think again about something Paloma told me back in August about her discomfort with being called a hero, I wondered if she sees it any differently now or one way you some teeth. So from earlier on and have you reflect on it and then Alaska question sure I don't feel like a hero. That's not me! I'm not doing the possible, I'm not a superhero, I'm not bringing people back. I'm you know of where's Oklahoma. Following you, as you ve been on the front lines, you ve done a lot of heroic things, not the least of which has been talking a lot of families through and of life issues. I wondered how you
Think about this idea of heroism. Now I dont want this pandemic was a catastrophic failure. There said almost four hundred thousand people were dead and this country because I expect that the job of taking care of others lies only and those who get paid to do so by calling other people heroes where's separating ourselves from that draw up like what is every single person had seen themselves as a hero
and I said no to travel in during the holidays or had said no to throwing a wedding during a pandemic or had said no to having a party or to have a get together or to give something up. What if everyone had said, themselves. That way, and had said it is also my job to take care of others, and we all doing what we can, as physicians is nurse is it a social workers as custodians as everyone who works a hospital, but what the FUCK everyone else doing,
hello. My tells me that by car healthcare workers, heroes, it's like the rest of us to get to let ourselves off the hook. Get to absolve ourselves of all the things we could have done differently to protect one another, Half a million Americans have died from covert nineteen more people than any other nation in the world by a long shot, Paloma. is one of twelve emergency medicine, residence at community regional medical Center in Fresno, when that email went out asking for, volunteers to go back into the icy you all of them signed by now Paloma, has only been a doctor for eight months, but she's
thinking about doing an extra fellowship and palliative care to help people with end of life treatment don yet know what the long term impact of this experience is gonna, be on her and her generation of doctors. But some older physicians, especially those who train during the height of HIV Aids epidemic, tell us they think it's possible that below my generation will become leaders in changing the way we deal with death, even though the pandemic has been so gruelling for healthcare workers. It also appears to be inspiring others to take up the collie this year. Midst applications erupt nearly twenty percent an all time high. This we show was a partnership with Keyser Health NEWS. It was reported by Jenny, gold, narrowly price produce the episode. Red Myers edited the show with help from Deborah Andrew in time,
The English Keyser Health news thanks. To grow The Association of American medical colleges, doctors, told Gee Way and Samantha Godly, whose experiences helped informed the stork. Thanks also to hide it. Marco Keyser, health news who took photos of below which you can see on our instagram at reveal news. are you bear Nevsky is our General Council document there's any Mustafa core and sound designed by the dynamic dual J Breezy, Mr Jim Briggs, Fernando my man. You alluded that help this week bread, Simpson and a meter matra a theme music is by Colorado light.
Support for reveals, provided by the River and David Logan Foundation. The John Dene Catherine Team, together Foundation, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation before Foundation, the hiding Simons Foundation, the democracy fund and the ethics and excellence in journalism foundation reveal is a co production of the centre for investigative reporting. Mp are eggs, I'm outlets and remember. There is always more to the story. oh
Transcript generated on 2021-04-06.