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by Michael Morse, contributing writer
Easter Sunday, noon. In bed. COVID positive. Fever. Exhausted.
Same day, a few hours later, sitting on edge of bed, uncontrolled coughing. Throat on fire. Can’t swallow, airway closing.
“Don’t wait too long” echoes in my head.
My doctor is out – obviously. Doctor on call can’t do anything without seeing me,
But I have COVID.
He won’t see me.
Nobody sees me.
Told to go to Urgent Care.
I call first, to be polite, do not want to infect or scare anybody.
Stay away, I’m told. There is nothing for you here. Go to ER.
Can’t catch my breath, Easter is canceled, food in fridge will turn and be thrown away by Wednesday.
I’ll miss my kids and grandkids. The scavenger hunt I had planned wilts away into nothing. No memories, no hidden treasures, no chocolate bunnies.
Head between hands, wife worried, head pounding, heart racing. Dizzy now, can’t walk very far, tired. So tired.
Not my greatest moment, but I will not infect the people responding to 911. I’m contagious, dirty, sick.
Parked crooked in the garage, struggled to the elevator, double masked, alone, thankfully.
Triage. Six feet from window. Can’t talk. The nurse motions me to come closer.
“COVID”, I croak.
She leaves the window, opens the door, takes my arm and leads me in.
“It’s okay, we’re wearing masks.”
Love is not a strong enough word for what I’m feeling. One by one people touch me, take my temp, vitals, help me lie down and take care of me.
If there was heaven on earth on Easter Sunday, it existed inside the beautiful people working at the Rhode Island Hospital Emergency Room.
I am eternally grateful.
Michael Morse spent 23 years as a firefighter/EMT with the Providence Fire Department before retiring in 2013 as Captain, Rescue Co. 5. He is an author of several books, most offering fellow firefighter/EMTs and the general population alike a poignant glimpse into one person’s journey through life, work and hope for the future. He is a Warwick resident.
To read more of Morse’s columns for RINewsToday, go to: https://rinewstoday.com/michael-morse/