COVID Special Issue

“A Fatiguing Journey”: A Frontline Worker at UChicago Hospital Reflects

“It’s been really, really difficult,” third year Thew Orst told the Dealer by email last week. Orst, in addition to being a biology major in the College (Correction: Orst reminded us via email that he is on the pre-medical track. The Dealer regrets the omission), is a part time volunteer at the University of Chicago Medical Center. As a volunteer, Orst helps nurses, doctors, and technicians by transferring liquids from one beaker to another.

“Because of COVID,” Orst said, “elevators have been at limited capacity. I’ve had to take the stairs to move my liquids from Floor 4 to Floor 5. Do you know how long it takes to just get to the stairs?” Orst proceeded to pull up a map of the University of Chicago Medical Center and point out the staircases. “It’s a truly, truly, fatiguing journey.”