An EMT in Tucson who recently returned from assisting front-line workers in New Jersey described what it’s like to work in one of the pandemic’s hot spots. New Jersey has the second-highest number of confirmed cases in the country. Alex de León discussed his deployment to the city of Elizabeth to work with its fire department.
“I’ve never really been scared to do my job before, I think until this,” de León said. “It felt like the city of Elizabeth itself was sick. I don’t know how else to put it, but there’s just this thing in the air. This creeping presence in the community that was just, I don’t know, 'creepy' is the only word I can think of.”
He described a large refrigeration truck used to store an overflow of bodies after a hospital’s morgue became full. The truck was not far from where first responders parked their ambulances.
“Every time we run on a call, you just go by that truck. And it definitely keeps things in perspective,” de León said. “You see that and you know that you’re there for a very serious reason.”