As the medical facilities around the world are overwhelmed due to coronavirus cases, an ICU nurse from New York shared his experience of working at the frontline of a pandemic. KP Mendoza, who works at The Mount Sinai Hospital, wrote in a Facebook post that he considered writing a will because he thought his death was statistically more plausible he had previously imagined.
Mendoza said that he has seen more people die than most people see in their entire lives, adding that “death is different now”. The 24-year-old nurse opined that he is one of the last people anyone wants to see at this time and he is the final recourse. Highlighting the condition of overwhelmed medical facilities, Mendoza said that he is privileged to have just three patients some days
“Outside of the pandemic, the ratio in the ICU is two patients to one nurse, maximum. Now, the expectation is three patients to one nurse. In other ICUs and in other hospitals, particularly those in the outer boroughs, that ratio is even higher,” wrote the nurse.
Describing the horrific nature of the contagious disease, Mendoza said that he can’t escape this “plague” as it follows him “literally and metaphorically” to home. He added that the coronavirus is in the sirens he hears outside wondering if it is the next victim of the virus.
“It's on the soles of my shoes, on my clothes as I strip bare at the door, and on my hands as I scrub them red and raw to rid myself of the feelings of filth and decay,” he wrote.
In a scathing remark on the health care system of the United States, Mendoza said that he did not sign up to die and wants the country to know that if he ends up on that ICU bed, it is because he was not given a hazmat suit or enough PPE. He added that people will continue to die indiscriminately from this disease until there is a cure or treatment.
“I want the country to know that America has failed its people, most especially those it deems ‘essential’ - that, I truly believe,” the Facebook post read.