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Why Atlanta-Based Nurse Reema Khalid Chose to Volunteer in a New York City Hospital

Stuck at home for months with my husband and two sons, I felt isolated and detached, but my experience was nothing compared to yours. You were stuck in a seemingly never-ending cycle of caring for sick and dying patients, sleeping in a hotel room until your next shift, and then you waking up and doing it all over again. People called it “wartime nursing” — resources were slim and demand was high, but you did all you could to save people. 

I remember when the first COVID-19 death was reported in my area. I heard on the news that grieving families couldn’t see their loved ones in person, and that healthcare workers like you were doing everything they could to bring comfort to both the sick and the families. When you lost your first patient, you called their family and held the phone over the body so they could say goodbye. Sadly, this became the norm for you and so many other nurses. 

I’ll admit, I began to lose faith when the pandemic hit. I felt hopeless without a…

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