I worked the city today, and after a slow start, banged out 5 calls, and then they sent us in. Volume is down, plus today, as a holiday, we get double time and a half. I could have stayed at the base and clocked the last three hours, but I wanted to get home to my family. This Easter morning, the Easter bunny did not come to my house. Every year I buy candy and baskets in advance, and hide the candy in the early hours of the morning before heading out to work. It slipped my mind this year. Bad Dad. During the day, I did however, concoct a plan, to resurrect the Bunny’s reputation. I went to the Dollar Store during a brief lull in the action and bought candy, two baskets and some fake grass. Before I got home, I assembled the baskets, and then left them outside by the garage door.
“Hey, did you guys not go outside?” I asked my daughters when I got home. The youngest was in the basement watching TV, the oldest in her room, studying.
“No,” they both said, sheepishly, knowing I encourage them to get fresh air
“You ought to. There is something out there for you.”
It took me awhile to get them out to look, but they were both happy when they came back inside with their Easter baskets.
“You guys thought the Easter Bunny forgot you, didn’t you?” I said. “I was driving home and outside half the houses there were Easter baskets. There’s a pandemic going on. The Easter bunny can’t come in people’s houses. He’s like the pizza delivery guy. He has to leave his deliveries outside.”
“What about me?” my wife asked.
“What about you? When I went to work, there was a new car in the driveway with an Easter ribbon on it. The keys were in the car and it was running. “
“Someone must have stole it. Maybe next year. You snooze, you lose. You can’t lose faith in the Easter Bunny. You’ve gotta be up at the crack of dawn.”
Here the calls I did today.
An elderly woman with a cough and shortness of breath over the last two days. Her room air SAT was 88. We donned our isolation garb and put a mask on her. Here’s what my gown looked like after I put it on. Both arms ripped. It was cold and I kept my jacket on, which was a mistake because the gown fits better when I don’t wear the jacket. Not that it fits at all. I’m glad we’re not in the middle of winter.
A young woman with chest pain when she breathes, nausea, and vomiting. Mask for her, gown for me, but she kept taking her mask off to vomit. I gave her some Zofran, but it didn’t seem to help. Her sister was angry at us that we wouldn’t give her her own mask or let her ride with her sister in the ambulance. No family in the ambulances we said, and no visitors at the hospital. And we can’t hand out masks to the public because we are getting short ourselves.
An older woman who tripped on a curb and smashed her face. Even though she likely broke her nose, she wanted no part of going to the hospital. No, thank you.
A young man with homicidal thoughts, who was cooperative with us, but agitated. He wasn’t specific about why he wanted to hurt people or who he wanted to hurt, he just said the voices were telling him to do some destruction.
An older man from a hospital COVID unit going to a COVID nursing home after a two week stay in the hospital. More isolation gear. The nursing home also took our temperatures (one of the hospitals does the same each time we enter) and made us wear hair nets before we could take the elevator up to the COVID floors.
Again, I ask the question, after we doff our “contaminated” yellow napkin gowns and carefully place them in bio-hazard bins, I wonder what it is about my long legs and boots that provides them with a contamination free zone. I don’t take them off after each call and put them in a bio-hazard bag. (Of note, paramedics from a neighboring suburban town who we interface with when we respond to that town, have started wearing the full body alien suits.)
The hospitals up here are still half empty, the hospital overflow tents not yet in use.
I was thrilled to go home early. After I stripped to my underwear in the laundry room and took a long hot soapy shower, then changed into my jeans, I wanted to play some basketball with my daughter, but I was suddenly hit by a wave of tiredness. Both my wife and my daughters told me I looked terrible, so I went in the bedroom and lay down without moving for nearly two hours. I took my temperature when I got up. It was 98.6. My heart rate was 56 and my pulse sat (after taking a deep breath, rose from 94 to 98). I have been coughing to beat the band today, and while I have a horrible chronic cough, I confess, it has me a bit worried. The insidious thing with this virus threat is that until they have antibody testing or more easily available COVID testing, you go back and forth from feeling like you are fine to feeling like these are your last days on earth and you will never hug your kids again. I am actively avoiding them now. They are all upstairs while I am hunkered in the basement with a mask on. Hopefully, I’ll feel better in the morning, and it just lack of a good night’s sleep.