coronavirus pandemic

A Nurse's Frustrations Put into Words

ER Nurse was dismayed by people not taking COVID-19 seriously

NBCUniversal, Inc.

An emergency room nurse didn’t let her frustrations get the better of her. Instead, Corinne Castro put those frustrations into words and shared them in a social media post that has since been shared by tens of thousands of people around the world.

“It’s been scary honestly,” said Castro while standing outside the Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center’s Emergency Room. “I don’t think my hands stopped shaking for three weeks straight.”

Castro has worked on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic since day one.

“I wish I could sit here and tell you I’ve been strong through this whole thing,” admitted Castro. “I’ve seen death. I’ve seen people die without families by their side.”

Images of her patients are burned into her mind. Then her fear turned into frustration.

“I found people to be very reckless, not wearing masks,” she said. “I wanted people to realize that their actions are directly affecting us.”

Castro put her frustrations into words with a long Facebook post directed at those people. She shared it on her private page with a picture of her wearing scrubs outside of the Sharp hospital.

“I hope you never lay in bed crying because you couldn’t keep your promise,” she wrote. “I hope you never remind yourself you were the last person they ever saw and their last thought on this earth was that they were scared out of their mind.”

Like a poem with several stanzas, each line begins with “I hope.” The tone is painful and foreboding.

“I hope you never endure the deafening silence after the physician calls 'time of death' on a 37-year-old mother, wife, sister, and daughter,” she continued to write. “I hope you never have to wipe the tears away from a patient’s eyes who is waking up from sedation and is terrified because they have a painful tube down their throat.”

One of her friends asked her to make the private post public so it could be shared. As of Friday afternoon, it was shared 34,000 times, with 21,000 reactions, and more than 5,000 comments.

“I was in shock,” Castro said. “I didn’t realize that my voice, my words would have such an impact.”

The coronavirus didn’t break Castro’s spirit. The people who don’t listen to her warning did. However, it was not enough to make her quit. It only made her stronger.

“Every single day we wake up to come back to work and try to save lives because that is our job.”

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