|Capri Reese, photographed by Ashlee Rezin Garcia
Having teamed up successfully to report on battling the COVID-19 pandemic at Mount Sinai Hospital, photographer Ashlee Rezin Garcia suggested we try a different locale, and Roseland Community Hospital on the far South Side graciously invited us in. Ashlee not only took the photos, but used her keen eye to gather key on-the-scene details — I conducted interviews and wrote the piece. We share a byline in the paper.
Capri Reese can’t go home. Not unless she finds someone to step into her shoes.
“All of a sudden we’re down five staff in one day,” said the 12-year veteran nurse at Roseland Community Hospital, who Tuesday had to track down coworkers on their day off and get them to the hospital, in addition to all her usual duties.
“I see patients, treat patients, respond to codes, rapid response, intubate, order tests, write prescriptions,” Reese said. “All of those things, and I’m also covering for the CNO — the chief nursing officer.”
Five holes in a 14-person staff, including someone to do her job after her 12-hour shift. Those are very big charm-studded Crocs to fill.
“It’s a juggling thing, like a rolling puzzle, every day,” she said. “People who don’t usually call off are calling off.”
Why? Exhaustion, stress, ailments like the ordinary flu, plus absences related to COVID-19 — battling it themselves, caring for a relation who is, or watching their children because daycare centers are closed.
Against those obstacles, Reese has only her considerable charm.
“Strap that S on your chest and come in,” Reese said over the phone to a triage tech.
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