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LETTER: The life of a healthcare worker during COVID-19 with no hazard pay



Photo By: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Michael Neuenhoff

Today we posted a story concerning Stop & Shop workers receiving a hazard pay bonus. Several healthcare workers pointed out that they have never received hazard pay during the pandemic. Joyce Ferreira issued this response to the article.

“I just want to cry. Wearing 2 masks, gloves, goggles, gowns for 8 plus hours and way under staffed. We are exhausted and we can’t breathe and yet we get nothing. I have to wave to my family in the window still like last year. It’s never ending. And yes we caught covid too and we are back at it. We are so overlooked and I can’t wrap my mind around it. We are in it yet we don’t matter. Something is wrong with this.”

When we saw her comment, we asked her if she could share with us her experience working in healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Last March I walked into my shift at Morton Hospital.

“I thought I was walking into a combat zone. Every one was suited up.

“We didn’t have enough protective gear. We had to wear the same gear and wipe our masks for the next day. The public was so kind to us and that kept us going. Then, as we all knew that the surge was going to happen again, it did.

“This time was different. We received no support from the public. People stopped taking this serious and we healthcare workers were getting sick. Doctors, nurses, CNAs, and housekeeping. Everybody.

“Oh my God. It’s a repeat of last year. We are now bagging bodies on a daily basis just like last year. I feel like I’m living in a twilight zone every day. We can’t breathe. 8 plus hours in a mask and goggles and gowns and gloves. We are sweating profusely for our entire shift.

“Myself and others caught covid and we had to use our sick time. That is not right.

“We don’t get breaks. I make sure I have a sandwich before I go to work because I know I won’t get a dinner break. I can’t see my family because they are afraid I’m going to give them covid. I feel like a disease. I’m so tired and depressed all the time. We don’t feel any joy. We are around the sick and dying all of the time. I’m always around death.

“God help us. Help us all.”

Joyce Ferreira

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Linda Medeiros

    January 4, 2021 at 10:34 pm

    I am with her 100% I also work at Morton as a safety sitter. As a sitter we sit in those rooms to ensure the patient doesn’t pull anything that is keeping them alive or helping them live off of their bodies. We all struggle daily. I am sure I can attest that many of us have ptsd of some sort from all this along with nightmares, I know I do. The staff there are great we support each other as best we can. WE HAVE BEEN FORGOTTEN. But yet we continue to do our best to help the sick.

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