After spending a weekend on call in a New York City hospital, one doctor tweeted a message for her kids with an honest and unfiltered view of the situation of healthcare workers on the frontlines in the battle against the coronavirus crisis.
Dr. Cornelia Griggs posted on Twitter:
“My babies are too young to read this now, and they’d barely recognize me in my gear. But if they lose me to COVID I want them to know Mommy tried really hard to do her job. #GetMePPE #NYC.”
Dr. Griggs, a pediatric surgery fellow at Columbia University Medical Center, told reporters in an interview that it was a long, exhausting weekend for her and her colleagues.
Her tweet caught the attention of many people, including hip-hop artist, Missy Elliot.
“We are going to speak it out of mouths that your babies will read this & you will be around to tell them about your bravery & others! Thank you for your hard work to help save lives.”
Griggs believes her photo of her two kids struck a nerve with people because her message voiced out, in a way, what a lot of healthcare workers, especially in New York, are feeling right now.
But despite the messages of cheer and support that she is receiving from social media, Griggs expressed she doesn’t feel brave right now.
“Waking up and walking into the hospital can feel like walking into the fire.”
“I feel scared every day but I’m still very determined to go to work every day and do the job that needs to be done because I still love my job.”
Griggs announced that hospitals around the city are still in grave need of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers and she’d like to see a continued effort to get more.
“But it’s not just gonna be PPE that we run out of,”
“We need to focus on a lot of other supply chains, including critical medications, more ventilators and more machines that can give patients dialysis.”
In these trying times of fear, doubt, and uncertainty, one thing remains constant for Griggs. She expressed that the comradery throughout the hospital among the staff is truly inspiring.
Griggs and her other half, who is also a healthcare worker, recently wrote their wills.
“It wasn’t a move that we made out of panic, we just wanted to be prepared.”
“I think it felt like the responsible thing to do as parents at this moment in time because both of us have friends that have contracted Covid-19. Some have recovered and some are still very sick and some of our colleagues are patients at the hospital.”
Griggs expressed that even though it may not seem like there’s not much the average person can do to help and contribute, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
“Part of that role is staying at home, sheltering in place, flattening the curve, buying us time, holding the line.”
“I have so many friends at home who feel frustrated and claustrophobic but what everyone is doing by staying home is saving a life.”