Listening to COVID-19

We invite you to share virtual postcards that provide inspiration and resilience for patients, caregivers, and providers.

To contribute, send us a short story of 3-5 sentences about someone who made a difference in your day.  This can be a gesture of kindness that you encountered, or an expression of gratitude or solidarity for those who have listened or anticipated a need. Your postcard will appear here and can be shared with others.

Examples of ways to share include:

• Send a postcard to a colleague to let them know you support them.
• Send a postcard to a patient or family member who may be feeling isolated or afraid.
• Share a postcard with your care team at the beginning or end of a shift.

Record Your Story Online
Email Your Story

Or call our 24/7 Recording Line:
267 758-4646

The Only Visitor

In his novella, Bridge over San Luis Rey, Thorton Wilder wrote, “There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.” The compassion of this hospital’s staff was my bridge through loss to the start of healing.

Even when I was the only visitor in the entire hospital—as most visits were prohibited during April— I never felt alone. There was always someone there, from the nursing staff to security, providing caring eye contact, encouraging words and most importantly, a smile under their mask. In his novella, Bridge over San Luis Rey, Thorton Wilder wrote, “There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.” The compassion of this hospital’s staff was my bridge through loss to the start of healing.

-- Lisa Martucci-Thibault, whose mother, Ruth Ann Martucci, was among the patients who died at Penn Medicine Princeton Health (PMPH) as a result of Covid-19 complications in April 2020

This is Not What I Signed Up For

I remember how we talked about how horrible it was going to be and our fears of all getting infected. “This is not what I signed up for!” But today, a new norm has settled in...

At first, the fear that struck the staff and community about COVID-19 was immense. I remember how we talked about how horrible it was going to be and our fears of all getting infected. “This is not what I signed up for!” But today, a new norm has settled in. The talk in the hospital has changed to ‘Nice mask, where did you get that?” Not only have I overcome fear of the infection, but I have come to work each day hoping I might make a difference in containing the virus. Mask, shield gloves, gown… just another day in the hospital.

Fear and Stigmatization Will Be Overcome

I know that COVID-19 will be overcome by scientific insight and infection control routines, and I also know that fear and stigmatization will be overcome by all of us looking into ourselves...

When I began hospital chaplaincy nearly 30 years ago I became aware of a parade of pathogens around me. In each case I realized that there was a chance for fear and stigma to intrude on my experience if I allowed it. In the present days, I hold continually on to what I learned well then. I know that COVID-19 will be overcome by scientific insight and infection control routines, and I also know that fear and stigmatization will be overcome by all of us looking into ourselves, checking such tendencies, and caring for every colleague, as well as every patient.