I’m the one answering the phone. I have patients crying. I had, one time, one patient crying because she just found out that her having hypertension, being 62 years old, she was just going to die if she gets COVID. So, I spent almost an hour, I think it was 45 minutes, on the phone, just listening to her concerns. And you can’t even say that I saw a patient because it was over the phone, but I mean, I cannot even count her as so many other phone calls. People just didn’t know what to do.
We are seeing more and more new patients coming in. And it’s mainly, like I said, people who did have work — because at least people who got the furlough, they still can keep their benefits. But these people were just sent home. So many bartenders, restaurant workers, hair stylists, nail stylists — all these people, they have no insurance and they have nowhere — where do I go? So those were the new ones that are coming in. And that was the first thing, “I’m sorry, I used to have health care.” And I’m like, “Don’t be sorry. This is why we’re here.”
Because Americares is not just helping us to be safe, to provide care. Americares is helping us to keep our door open and serve this bigger community.
We definitely need each other.
Josefina Clarivel Manzueta, BSN, RN
Neighborhood Clinic Tacoma