Positivity in the Pandemic: Here’s a look at the good during the coronavirus outbreak in the Commonwealth


In this March 30, 2020 photo provided by Chief Nurse Anesthetist Nicole Hubbard, nurses Mindy Brock and Ben Cayer, wearing protective equipment, hold each other and look into each other’s eyes, in Tampa General Hospital in Tampa, Fla. “Everybody’s talking about the photo,” says Cayer, 46. It strikes a chord “because we’re all going through the same thing right now and it’s a symbol of hope and love.” Brock, 38, adds: “What’s important is that we stick together, we work together, and we always support each other. And not just Ben and I, but the human race right now.” (Nicole Hubbard via AP)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — There’s so much negative news during the coronavirus outbreak it’s easy to lose sight of the good. Here are some positive things that have happened this week:

The numbers

The Virginia Healthcare and Hospital Association started updating its COVID-19 Dashboard with how many people have been discharged from the hospital. This week 1,324 confirmed coronavirus patients have been discharged.

Here are some other positive numbers:

  • There are almost 6,000 open hospital beds in Virginia, and only 22% of ventilators are in use.
  • John Hopkins reported more than 635.000 people have recovered from the coronavirus worldwide.
  • There are more than 70,000 reported recoveries from COVID-19 in the U.S., according to John Hopkins

Virginians who have recovered

While the VDH does not report recoveries, here are some stories about Virginians who have recovered from the virus:

Good in the community

Here are what people around the community have been doing to help out during the coroanvirus outbreak:

Richmond shower glass company now installing shields to protect workers, customers

The owner of a shower glass company in the Richmond area is expanding his business to install protective glass shields for stores, banks and health facilities.

Jeff Bruce told 8News he saw a need to help out during this uncertain time. As more people are becoming conscious of potentially spreading disease, he says the new business may last longer than the pandemic itself.

After five years of running West End shower glass, Jeff Bruce is going live with SafeGuard Shields, dubbed ‘defense against airborne pathogens.’

“Things changed dramatically two months ago,” Bruce said. “With the backing of a large manufacturer that I use for my shower glass business, we’ve hit the street running.”

Read the full story here.

Bears at the bedside: St. Mary’s ICU nurse finds unique way to connect COVID patients to family

For patients battling COVID-19 in the hospital — it often means isolation. Many hospital rules are limiting or even restricting visitors.

Michelle Vaughan has been an ICU nurse for a decade. Even for her, these coronavirus restrictions are a first.

“I was so upset and I kept thinking we have to be able to do better than this,” Vaughn explained after watching patients and families struggling with the distance.

Vaughan is on the frontline with COVID-19 patients at Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital in Henrico.

She said loved ones visiting and supporting at the bedside typically helps patient outcomes. It wasn’t until that option was taken away entirely — that everybody noticed a difference.

“We didn’t realize how much we needed family here as well,” Vaughan tells 8News.

Thanks to technology, this nurse knew her team could do better.

And she had an idea.

“Immediately everybody just kind of came together and said oh my gosh we’ve gotta connect these families to one another somehow and this is a really great way,” Vaughan said.

Read the full story here.

“I know how much stress they’re under and I’m always just surprised by how many smiles I see,” said Susan Davenport, co-owner of Tazza Kitchen.

Richmond restaurants dish out “Loving Lunches” to area hospitals

It was just another day during the coronavirus outbreak when staff from Tazza Kitchen drove up to a Richmond area hospital to deliver hot lunches to the staff. Susan Davenport, co-owner, said the healthcare workers greeted them with smiles and excitement.

“I know how much stress they’re under and I’m always just surprised by how many smiles I see,” Davenport said. “I know it’s not just the food. I know food makes people smile, I think they’re just so appreciated and it’s really nice to be the person handing that food off.”

This is “Loving Lunches RVA,” a program started by the Richmond Academy of Medicine and Retail Merchants to help give business to local restaurants while filling the stomachs of front line healthcare workers.

James Beckner, executive director of the Richmond Academy of Medicine, said the project came about when one of the members asked: “What could we be doing for front line providers during this time?”

The answer — buy them lunch.

Beckner said the program is a great way for the community to come together and accomplish two important goals: supporting front line medical workers and our local food service industry during a time they truly need it.

Read the full story here.


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