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Eric M. Jones, Jr.

Respiratory Therapist

Thoughts on Covid-19

I am a member of one of the Biocontainment Units in Maryland, so I was aware of

COVID-19 early on. Initially, I thought that it may be like SARS or Ebola which did not

have the same effect on the Unites States that it did in other countries. As it spread like

wildfire, concern grew all around. I don’t believe anyone anticipated that it would grow

into the worst pandemic to occur in a century. A year later as vaccines begin to roll out, I

just urge others to fight against the “COVID fatigue” that we are all facing and continue

to follow the precautions recommended so that we can come out of the other side of this

pandemic in the best possible position.

I am often in contact with respiratory droplets and other bodily fluids so personal

protective equipment (PPE) has been crucial in protecting my patients and myself. I go

into patient’s rooms with a respirator, protective gown, and two pairs of gloves at a

minimum. I carry cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer in my car and backpack because I

can never be too careful. I change out of my work clothes before coming home. Some

neighbors of healthcare workers may have been puzzled when they witnessed them take

their clothes off at the door and bag them. For the protection of our families, we don’t

want to take our work home with us during a pandemic.

Most of the time I see the sickest patients, get to know them, watch them decompensate, and sometimes pass away.

This, and the increased workload, can deliver a blow on your mental, physical, and emotional health. Because we face high pressured situations it is crucial to have a support network in place at work and at home that you can lean on in times of need, whether it is talking to a friend or a dedicated network for stress management. For the general public, the best thing you can do is protect yourself and those around you. We will get through this by standing together and having compassion for each other.

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