NEW ORLEANS (AP) — It was a simple gesture that brought smiles to the faces of many hospital employees taking the familiar stroll along the sidewalk leading from the employee parking lot to the main entrance of Ochsner Medical Center.
One of the largest hospitals in the New Orleans area that in recent days has become so overwhelmed with coronavirus patients, it’s converted regular patient rooms into ICU-like rooms to accommodate the sudden surge in patients.
First-year resident Leslie Miller, who works in the hospital’s pediatrics unit, stops to read the colorful messages left on the sidewalk in chalk by a mystery writer, and a smile crosses her face.
“It definitely meant a lot to me and was a surprise, a colorful surprise, walking out and going home to go to bed after a long shift,” she said.
Though the writer remained a mystery to many, the message was clear, said Miller, who said hospital employees are used to dealing with heightened stress but for many, the coronavirus has taken stress and anxiety to another level.
The messages were wonderfully heart-warming to see when entering and leaving work, Miller said.
Added lab technician Minerva Martin as she walked past the messages: They “give us hope.”
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks.
For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
The vast majority of people recover.
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