This hospital visit was eerie, to say the least
As soon as I pulled up, I could tell this time was different. For starters, I had no problem finding parking. The lot was empty, save for the first two rows of cars. As I walked to the entrance, there were signs galore: No visitors. Watch for coronavirus symptoms. Please ask for a mask.
“Hi, I’m here to see my mother. She arrived by ambulance,” I told three nurses standing guard outside.
“I’m sorry — no visitors allowed,” they said.
I held up a manila folder of legal documents. “I’m her power of attorney. She’s unable to make medical decisions for herself.”
The nurse in charge nodded. “I’ll be right back,” she said and walked inside. As I waited, my attention turned to the right, where I saw a blue shelter made of plastic, about the size of a party tent. The entrance was shielded from view.
“What’s that?” I asked another nurse. “You don’t even want to know,” she replied with a laugh.
Shortly after, I was approved to go inside. The waiting room chairs were all empty, and the emergency ward was eerily quiet. It was doctors, nurses, security guards, patients, and… me. The odd one out.
In the next 5 hours, while my mom went through routine tests and I caught a glimpse of what it was like on the front lines, I had a lot of time to think about what we can learnfrom the coronavirus.