RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — With over 160,000 Americans dead from COVID-19, one local physician is working to ensure those who have died working on the front-lines are remembered.
What started as a personal coping mechanism before the pandemic — keeping a list of her patients who passed — Dr. Claire Rezba has created a memorial project for those at the front lines who have fallen victim to the coronavirus, sharing about their lives on Twitter.
“I spend a lot of time looking for these people that are often unrecognized,” Dr. Rezba said.
Obituaries, GoFundMe pages, Facebook posts, news articles; all how the anesthesiologist catalogs deaths among doctors, nurses, firefighters, hospice caretakers, nursing home staff and others.
“There are people who are dying taking care of your grandma who don’t have a mask to do that,” Dr. Rezba said. “And there are people that feed the stuff in the hospital and the hospital can’t run without that person and they’re also dying.”
While working during a pandemic, Rezba borrowed a trick from her days in training and medical school — listing the names of her patients who passed.
“At the end of the year I would say a prayer for them and sort of release that pain,” she said. “To an extent, it’s worked. I feel far less anxious now that we know more information and I feel pretty safe at work with what we have.”
With more than 3,000 followers, Twitter users are now responding to ‘US HCWs Lost to Covid19‘ (US Healthcare Workers lost to COVID-19).
‘Never forget,’ ‘devastating loss,’ broken hearts, and messages offering peace during tragedy were included. As for Dr. Rezba, she says she’s had conversations with some of those who have died; conversations she says, she’ll keep private.
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