Looking Back to the First Days of COVID-19 at Montreal’s Jewish General Hospital


Thursday will be the first anniversary of the COVID 19 pandemic. The first COVID-19 case of COVID-19 was admitted to Montreal’s Jewish General Hospital. At that time, health care workers had no experience with the pandemic.

Brenda Lopez,57, was in the ICU with her elderly mother, who had been infected by the virus the same week it was reported. According to Dr. Paul Warshawsky, the experience was terrifying in the beginning.

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SAR was the only known virus similar to the COVID, which also killed several health workers. The magnitude of the patient arriving in the hospital started to increase. Nurse Victoria Bain says that she will never forget that day she arrived in the hospital.

Bain found many patients admitted and placed in ventilators; after a short while, all ICUs were full. Dr. Blair Schwartz says that there were no experts who knew about the virus. The symptoms which they were observing were also very unfamiliar.

Although no one knew what to do, they were recommended to use incubators, although no one knew whether that would work. Respiratory specialists were given the responsibility of checking breathing-related complications.

Meanwhile, some patients recovered while others got even worse. The first wave hit hard and unprecedented. Patients died at their hands, but the nurses had the dignity to let the patients die peacefully.

Then the second wave came; more people were admitted to the hospital. Nurses stilled feared catching the virus, especially when caring for patients in ICU. Thanks to the vaccination going on, the nurse will no longer have to worry.

The only thing health workers fears is the third wave which is possible. With the new variants being reported in Montreal, which is still contiguous, there is something to worry about.

However, Montreal’s Jewish general hospital believes that although the risk of variants will be harmful, things will still be okay. They have experienced burnout during the pandemic; however, a little sense of humor has kept them going.

Although Breda’s mother was in ICU for eight days, she is now okay, and she has already been vaccinated. The only concern now is a third wave, which the existence of variants would worsen. Montreal’s Jewish hospital health workers believe that people have to get used to the new normal to protect themselves from getting the COVID-19 virus.