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"The disease makes me to begin to see life as being very transient."

“The disease makes me to begin to see life as being very transient.
By Immanuel Jacobs

Katy, TX
United States

I’ve been a CNA for over six years, and I’ve worked in a long-term facility for about four years out of the six.  

Being a CNA during the pandemic has made me express more empathy than I used to. Now, when I see a person laying in a bed, I see my own father, my own mother, my uncle, my auntie.  

It’s made me more emotional. It has made me see each individual I care for as someone I should do my very, very best for. It has made me pour out myself more than I used to.  

Being a CNA has made me more humble, and I think that’s a nice quality that everyone should develop. I’m more skillful in the way I deal with individuals. It has made me watch out for anyone who’s an older person, at the shopping mall or when I see them driving. 

We used to have family time when families come to visit. Some of the residents don’t get to express precisely what they want. A couple, they’ve been married for years, they know what their husband or wife wants exactly, but maybe this time she's not there to advocate for him. It’s now left on me to figure out, “This is what he wants,” and tell the charge nurse. I have now become the family.  

Some of the family members become my friends because they appreciate the care I give. I talked with the son of one of my residents about two weeks ago. I said, “How are you doing? How’s your pop?” He told me his pop got COVID. I said, “Really?” I kept checking in after that. A few days ago, I got a text message. I looked at my phone and the message said, “Thank you for all the care. Pop did not make it.” It broke my heart. 

The disease makes me to begin to see life as being very transient. Life is so fleeting. There are some who came in that don’t look so bad, but before you know it, they start to deteriorate.  

Right now, there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel. The vaccine is a huge breakthrough that offers a lot of hope. I got the two vaccines already. I feel more empowered because of the vaccine. If we love our neighbors, we love our family, we should get the vaccine, so everyone can be well. 

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