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Mask Up, Des Moines!

Masks During COVID-19

December 2, 2020

I will never forget walking into a patient’s room and seeing a nurse sitting bedside, holding the patient’s hand. She was struggling with complications from COVID-19. In that moment, I was overwhelmed with emotion and felt compelled to stay, to be another person who could provide some comfort and let her know she was not alone. It was heartbreaking.

Emotions are running high as the fatigue sets in after nine long months of battling this virus. As the MercyOne family, we try to keep each other’s spirits up and encourage one another. Countless times, I have been inspired by the resilience shown by our team — especially those nurses who provide bedside care. But I will always remember that patient, and I think of her when I see people not wearing masks or not staying six feet apart.

Protecting Each Other

When we began seeing the first COVID-19 positive patients in Greater Des Moines (DSM) last spring, there was both a sense of fear and also one of responsibility. We were trying to prepare as best as we could for what may come, but things were changing so rapidly all over the world. We were running on adrenaline. Now, almost a year later, we are still doing everything we can to provide quality, personalized care for our patients — but we are tired. We have a much better understanding of the virus; we have more treatments to offer. But in the past month, we have seen a rapid rise in COVID-19 positives, and it is frustrating and worrisome because we know there is more that could be done to stop the spread of the virus.

As an infectious disease specialist, and as a wife and mother, I implore all Iowans to remain vigilant and take this virus seriously. Wear a mask whenever you are outside your home, practice physical distancing and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently. These simple steps can make a huge impact on the overall health of our community.

We at MercyOne are committed to providing the best possible care in these trying times. We ask the community to do its part as well. By protecting yourself and your families, you are protecting us and our families. We are all in this together.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is working with its partners to encourage businesses and community to Mask Up DSM. You can count on The Partnership to continue to share accurate and fact-based updates. See more on COVID-19 here.

Dr. Aneesa Afroze

Dr. Aneesa Afroze, MD, is an Infectious Disease Specialist at MercyOne Des Moines, serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle.