(CNN) – After a weekend on duty at a New York City hospital, a doctor posted an emotional message for her children with an honest and stark perspective on what it means to be a health worker on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak. .
“My babies are too young to read this now,” tweeted Dr. Cornelia Griggs. “And they would hardly recognize me when I use my (protection) equipment. But if they lose me because of COVID, I want them to know that Mom worked hard to do her job. #GetMePPE #NYC ”.
Dr. Griggs, a member of pediatric surgery at Columbia University Medical Center, told CNN’s John Berman that it was a long and exhausting weekend for her and her colleagues.
“Walking towards the fire”
The tweet caught the attention of many, including hip-hop artist Missy Elliot.
“Let’s say out loud that your babies will read this and you will be around to tell them about your bravery and that of others! Thank you for your hard work to help save lives. ” tweeted Elliot.
Griggs said he believes his photo for his two children touched people because his message “reflected what many health workers, especially in New York, are feeling right now.”
But despite messages of support, Griggs said he does not feel brave.
“Waking up and walking to the hospital can be like walking to the fire,” he said. “I feel scared every day, but I am still very determined to go to work every day and do the work that needs to be done because I still love my job.”
Griggs said city hospitals still urgently need personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers and that he would like to see an ongoing effort to secure more.
“But it will not be just the EPP that runs out,” he added. “We need to focus on many other supply chains, including critical drugs, more respirators, and more machines that can provide dialysis to patients.”
One thing remains constant for Griggs during this time. She said the camaraderie across the hospital among the staff is inspiring.
“Staying at home is saving a life”
Griggs and her husband, who is also a health worker, recently made their wills.
“It wasn’t something we did out of panic, we just wanted to be prepared,” he said. “I think it’s a responsible thing to do as parents right now, because we both have friends who have contracted covid-19. Some have recovered and others are still very ill and some of our colleagues are patients in the hospital. “
Griggs added that while it may not seem like the average person can’t do much to help, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“Part of that role is staying home, being in confinement, flattening the curve, giving ourselves time, keeping the line,” he said. “I have so many friends at home that they are frustrated and claustrophobic, but what everyone does when they stay home is save a life.”