Morocco, Interrupted

Everyday Heroes

I would like to write this letter to the everyday heroes, the nurses, cab drivers, and people like Douaa and Rania. The people who go above and beyond to serve the people they are taking care of. In my experiences, I’ve worked alongside nurses whose daily work goes often unrecognized. Now with the history-book-making coronavirus, these people are being spotlighted as first-line fighters and the heroes working to ensure the safety of patients. I want to extend my thanks to them for all of the work they are putting in and the personal risks they are taking to protect their patients.

In a perfect world, none of this would be happening. I would still be in Tangier and volunteering with the nurses at Croissant Rouge and Clinique Assalam, creating a stronger bond and friendship with them. I would be writing this while sipping juice outside on the patio soaking up the Tangier sun. Instead, I’m lying on my stomach in my room and it’s been raining outside for the past 24 hours. The sitcom “The Office” is playing in the background as white noise.

Here I am, living the dream in quarantine. The coronavirus in the United States is only getting worse, and last night we found out the social distancing and isolation would be extended for another month. This only increases tensions within the country as people are not taking the proper precautions and staying home. Some college-aged students still went on their spring breaks and had to quarantine once they got back home. Unsurprisingly, some of those students have tested positive for coronavirus. By doing this they are putting themselves and everyone they come into contact with at risk for contracting the virus.

Hospitals and hospital staff are running out of the proper PPE — personal protection equipment — to treat their patients without getting sick themselves. Nurses and doctors have gone onto social media begging people to stay home so they can treat the patients and not increase their patient load and further spread the virus.

In my home state and area, there are now 253 confirmed cases and three deaths. Local companies and seamstresses have started making masks and donating them to people in need, nursing homes, healthcare providers and anyone who made need some. Personally, I would like to be helping in any way I can to those who need it. I know I’m doing my part by staying home—I have not left my house since coming back to the US ten days ago.

When my thoughts turn back to the medical professionals back in Morocco, I hope all their coronavirus patients will come out unscathed and that the nurses and doctors and other hospital staff remain safe and healthy. I hope in 6 weeks from now we can look past the virus and enjoy time with friends and family members we cannot see due to the potential threat of them getting the virus.

Alli Dumond is a Medical Biology (Medical Sciences) major at the University of New England.

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