Seeing COVID-19 in New York City; a Regina man volunteering as a front-line worker describes the experience

A Regina man is seeing first-hand how overwhelmed front-line workers are in the battle against COVID-19, because he is one and he is dealing with the virus in New York City, where there have been over 200,000 confirmed cases and 16,000 deaths.

Anil Gorania still considers Regina home, but he left the Queen City for the United States in 2008. He decided to leave his family and volunteer his time at hospitals in New York City during the pandemic. It is something he knew immediately would be a life-changing experience and that it wasn’t a difficult decision to make when it came to going because he was upset to see everything that was happening and that the need was there to help thinking they would be feeling overwhelmed.

“I’m physically, mentally and spiritually damaged.” Gorania said. “I have talked to my wife and family members about this. I knew it would take a toll on me, but it has been difficult. I don’t know if I can take another month of this.

While the situation has improved from where it was a couple of weeks ago, it is still presenting a challenge to those he is working with.

Anil Gorania is a former Regina man living in the U-S. He is currently volunteering as a nurse at multiple hospitals in New York City fighting COVID-19.

“I’ve seen nurses and battle-tested doctors who have been here for decades and are veterans of all kinds of situation break down.” Gorania stated. “To see these people turn their heads to hide their tears when we lose a patient which is shocking. The worst is when we lose a patient and we talk to the families. It is as tough if we talk to the first one, the tenth one or the hundredth one. It is so difficult to do.”

Since the pandemic started, front-line workers have been considered by many to be heroes. Gorania admits that is something he has a difficult time grasping.

“We don’t feel like heroes, but we feel supported by the community. I think each of us who go to work do it because its our job, its our duty and that is what we train for.

As mentioned, the time Gorania has spent at the various hospitals is something that has affected him tremendously. He says the facilities he has been in all have done a tremendous job when it comes to emotional support and other programs for affected workers.

While the situation in Saskatchewan is nothing compared to what it is in New York City, Gorania has one piece of advice

“Two things. First, please follow your local health guidelines. The experts are the ones you have to trust right now.” Gorania said. “It shouldn’t be political right now. It should be a matter of trusting the people who have studied and trained for this and are making the best decisions they can to help all of us to stay safe. The second thing is to be kind and respectful to one another. As much as we are suffering. you have to have an ounce of kindness for those around you.”

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