Fighting the Enemy

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I can not recall in our nation’s history experiencing anything like this frightening and invisible enemy since maybe the influenza pandemic in 1918.  I keep thinking of my good fortune to be home and not “on the road” somewhere.  I am determined to stay upbeat in this trying time, and remember all the stories of sacrifice and loss that previous generations have endured.  Our present ones have had an amazingly extended period of peace and tranquility, and now we are being tested.  How will we be looked on by future generations and the history annals?  My hope is that we will be held in great esteem; respected for our courage and generosity.

These last two days I accompanied my husband to a Rehabilitation facility who had called our company Northwest Response to help Respiratory Fit Test over a hundred employees who needed protection against Covad-19.  We have received many calls from Medical Clinics, Retirement Homes, and Assisted Living Centers as they face the imminent arrival of this enemy.  Needless to say, it’s been a difficult last few days trying to answer all the questions regarding what needs to happen to safeguard their employees as well as themselves.  When this particular testing was scheduled, I realized the enormity of the situation and knew that I should accompany my husband and help with the task at hand.

I was responsible for keeping track and recording the names of each person being tested, and watching my husband instruct each group from two to five at a time was a sight to behold.  When the nurses, administrators, housekeepers, physical therapists, maintenance, nutritional staff etc. entered the room you could sense their fear and uncertainty, but my husband welcomed them and immediately placed them at ease.

As soon as they filled out the paperwork and were given their little “gold nugget” respirator mask he began (with the patience of Job) to demonstrate how to place the respirator mask onto their face, how to maintain their individual masks to last maybe a whole week since there was little accessibility for a new one due to worldwide demand, and stressed how important it is to take care of their faces since the constant pressure from the tight fitting mask might cause bruising and abrasions.  All this was spoken with good natured humor and warmth which is a Gift many people just don’t possess.

Sometimes he was seated in a rolling chair, and gleefully glided back and forth from the table of participants to his table of “smoke tubes” utilized to test the proper fit of the mask.  At all times he kept up his energy and composure for a non stop eight hour marathon, and I don’t think I have ever been more proud of the man I’ve been married to for almost thirty six years.

It was inspiring to watch not only my husband, but each and everyone of those brave souls literally on the front lines of this war (and YES this is a war) step up and embrace the responsibility to not only protect their patients, but themselves as well.

It was a very, very long two days!  We were both so tired, and late last night my husband expressed his worries that after saying the same things over and over and over again that he had not done a good job.  I assured him that not only had he maintained his composure and humor, but had taught every person the all important information they would need to protect themselves as they went into battle against this aggressive and lethal virus.

After these last forty eight hours, I am certain that not only will we triumph over this enemy, but will be stronger, more knowledgable, and prepared as never before.

My one true hope is that we embrace one another (even socially distanced) and realize that no matter the hardship, it is imperative in the words of Pope John Paul II to…

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  1. Gerri a duran  April 3, 2020

    Thank you, Patti. To Maggie (who you and DJ coached in ABQ a lifetime ago) is now a PICU in Indy. The PPE and proper use will literally save lives. Thank you and your husband for doing this and thank you for the “be not afraid ” addition (I then finished w/ “I go before you always…” but not w/ Maggie’s voice- hahaha!)- take care of yourselves. – gerri Duran


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