Photo by Nicole Hubbard, a co-worker, via AP
Picture from a pandemic: Here’s Ben Cayer and Mindy Brock, married fellow nurse anesthetists in Florida, showing us how it’s done. They spend their days as part of Tampa General Hospital’s “airway team,” taking on the intricate, up close, high-risk task of placing breathing tubes in emergency surgery patients – victims of car crashes or brain aneurysms – any of whom may have COVID-19. They’ve been married five years, since nursing school; they sat and met in alphabetical order, Brock next to Cayer. The stress of their work, coupled these days with new COVID-19 protocols and grief all around, is tough. It helps to be married to another nurse, says Brock: “He gets it.” But one recent morning, they bickered en route to work about what to play on the car radio and who was washing the dishes at home. Later, they caught up with each other between surgeries, and remembered what they forgot. “What’s important is that we stick together, we work together, and we always support each other,” says Brock. “And not just Ben and I, but the human race right now.” Amen. Be like Ben and Mindy.