Each of us has a part to play in the new reality of life during this pandemic. A few examples of this include teachers and students tackling the challenges of distance learning, organizers planning community grocery pick-ups for the housebound, and mini-concerts from home to cheer others. There have been and continue to be countless acts of community kindness.
For some CS Alums, their part in our new norm finds them at the front lines of the battle against the COVID-19 virus. In this recurring column, we call "Faces on the Front Line," we will share the inspiring stories of Conserve School graduates and their lives at the cutting edge of our new reality, in their own words.
Mark Herro (Conserve School, 2006)
"I have been working for Advocate Aurora Healthcare at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee for the last 7 years. Since the pandemic, everything has changed. We have enacted a universal masking policy and are required to wear face masks from the moment we enter the campus. We have a no visitor policy which is enforced by checkpoints at all entrances. At these checkpoints, they screen the temperature of employees prior to entry. If the employees are even mildly febrile, they direct us home immediately for suspected illness. Many days when I come to work I am reallocated from my cardiac-specific floor to the inpatient units that were selected to treat patients who are COVID-19 positive or are being tested for it and awaiting results. Currently, 3 inpatient floors ranging from orthopedics to electrophysiology and 2 intensive care units have been transformed to treat patients with COVID-19. As a contingency plan, St. Luke’s has constructed a triage tent with a 20 bed capacity for any rapid influx of patients. All of these units, including the tent, are negative pressure and require an additional level of personal protective equipment (PPE) to stem the spread of suspected infection from patient to patient and to the caregivers caring for them. It can be anxiety-provoking taking care of patients that are positive for COVID-19 and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid. However, Advocate Aurora has always shown to have the protection of its patients and staff as their number one priority, and that is an encouraging thought."