Volunteering For NYC

Forward by Adam Rapp, Founder, Clothing Arts:

For those that do not know, Clothing Arts is based in NYC and we, as a city, were hit extremely hard at the beginning of the pandemic. Coming up with the Cubed Travel Journal contest, we expected to receive travelogues from around the world... to experience it while we all couldn't board a plane and visit safely ourselves. Entries from dozens of countries were sent in and then we received Tom's. Personally, as a NYer, his journal touched me deeply. In recognition of his selfless service to the people of NYC, we will be sending Tom a special $1200 Travel Stimulus check.

Tom, from ALL of NYC, Thank You.

Here is his journal entry (please be aware there is some graphic content):

By Dr. Tom Q. from Honolulu, Hawaii

Travel Stimulus Check Entry # 5 of 5

After six years of retirement as an MD in scenic Hawaii and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, I signed up to go as a volunteer physician to Queens, NY — the epicenter of the Coronavirus outbreak. I was welcomed and utilized immediately by the New York Health + Hospitals Queens Hospital to see the non-acute cases in their very contracted “cold zone” - i.e. the small space of their ER that was not filled with COVID cases and “rule outs”. After all, corneal abrasions of the eye do not stop just because there is a pandemic.

My presence as an old retired 67-year-old physician was utilized to keep the younger docs there able to keep managing the more serious patients on ventilators — or (more tragically) comforting those numerous nursing home patients with DNR (do not resuscitate) orders, who we kept on oxygen only until we pronounced them. The three bays of the ER were so full that every hallway was filled with gurneys — truly unbelievable.

I arrived just a few days after the peak as part of a Heart-to-Heart / International Medical Corps deployment. And no, I didn’t worry about pickpockets. I sure did last year on our Italy trip—thanks again to the pickpocket-proof folks. That’s another subject — geez it hit Tuscany and Lombardy a good couple of weeks before us — and did we do anything? I only hope we can go back to worrying about just pickpockets.