At one New York City hospital, a doctor’s used mask tore as she performed CPR on her infected patient.
In Seattle, a nurse compares walking into her intensive care unit to bathing in COVID-19.
And in St. Louis, a nurse slips her used N95 mask into a paper bag at the end of her shift and prays it’s disinfected properly.
These are scenes playing out in hospitals across the country, based on interviews with over a dozen residents, doctors and nurses who go into work every day feeling unprotected from the disease they’re supposed to treat.
Nearly a month into the declared pandemic, some health care workers say they’re exhausted and burning out from the stress of treating a stream of critically ill patients in an increasingly