We live in difficult times. The coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed everything around, affecting every aspect of our life and every form of economic and social activity in and around the world. From manufacturing to international tourism to art business, there is no industry that has not been affected by the coronavirus outbreak one way or another. But what scares the most is the high number of confirmed cases and, unfortunately, the high number of deaths. Humanity was not prepared for such a pandemic and for how much this would change our lives. Almost everyone today has a COVID-19 story to tell. They all differ from each other, but they all are important to the world.
In this blog post, we want to share one such story told by our friend Mark Norov, who runs Medical Equipment Doctor, a Brooklyn-based business repairing medical equipment. This COVID-19 story is told in the first person, and it is worth reading.
The COVID-19 Story Everyone Should Read
At 2 am, I got a phone call. “Mom can’t breath, she is going to a hospital,” said my sister. “On the way out of the door, she said her goodbyes.” At that moment, I felt an urgent need to act, but right away realized that no matter my actions, certain things would remain out of my control. Despite mom’s fragile condition, the medics did not want to enter the house and made her walk to the car. I did not blame them, but it made me wonder how my wife would deliver a baby in the current crisis. She also tested positive for COVID-19 and was due any day now. I wanted to visit my mom in a hospital, but the rules changed. Nobody was allowed to be with her. My dad drove behind the ambulance, just to return home after seeing the ambulance entered a parking lot.
My thoughts were with my mother. She is a public-school teacher. Was it necessary to make teachers go back to school after a case of the virus was officially diagnosed in her very school? I dialed my mom – she was in a waiting room. From the information that I had, given her age and preexisting conditions, chances of her making out were not high. I tried to keep her spirits up. Then, I checked on my daughter – she had a temperature the night before – but I could buy off her discomfort with unlimited TV, which is usually strictly prohibited in my house. I returned to bed to my wife – she was not sleeping well, experiencing headaches and muscle aches. Any day now, she could go into labor.
I had to shut all the personal problems out and concentrate on the things I could control, things that could help the community at large around me but ironically might not help my family. I am in charge of Medical Equipment Doctor, a service business that concentrates on the maintenance and repair of medical equipment. Larger hospitals have whole departments dedicated to the maintenance of all sorts of medical modalities. The smaller facilities and private practices cannot afford full-time staff – that is where we come in.
While the majority of private practices were closed, we had a spike in calls from laboratories and smaller hospitals with malfunctioning equipment. I had to schedule the pick-up times, confirm the completion of repairs, and send out ready units. We got so busy that we had to convert my brother’s house into a part-time repair depot – just to increase efficiency and turnaround times on simple but vital devices, such as centrifuges and autoclaves. No laboratory can operate without them, and with their heavy use in recent months, these items have been breaking down more frequently.
I am happy to report that, miraculously, my mother is now stable and has already been discharged from the hospital. My wife, although with difficulties, gave birth to a healthy girl on April 27 – we named her Tovah, which means “goodness” in Hebrew. I would like to think that any good my company might do for the community somehow was returned to me in that precious little girl. While we are not out of the ongoing storm yet, and the current crisis has already left heavy marks on our community, I would like to hope that the innate goodness that we all have should keep us strong.
That was a real COVID-19 story, one of many today. At Fine Art Shippers, we want to thank Mark Norov, his brother Mikhail Norov, Medical Equipment Doctor, and all those fighting the coronavirus on the front lines. Each COVID-19 story is important, and each of them should be heard.