Michigan healthcare worker uses book to describe pandemic

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DETROIT, Mich. (WLNS)—Selina Mahmood, a resident at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit is used to working long shifts and seeing COVID-19 patients on a daily basis.

Mahmood has worked in the hospital ever since the pandemic started, and knew the COVID-19 pandemic would eventually make history books.

“The part that I was seeing on the media wasn’t 100 percent of how I was feeling about things,” Mahmood said. “So I was like okay, I’m going to try and write about this myself without trying to sensationalize it and try to bring it down into real-time, and kind of just be able to process it on my own.”

Mahmood was able to break down traumatic events only a medical first-responder would experience.

“I had my first patient die on me during a pandemic, and I had never called a family to let them know their loved ones have died,” Mahmood said. “We had trained for that in meetings ahead, I had to use everything we learned, and I ended up being the one calling the family telling them they had passed away.”

Mahmood’s written thoughts ended up leading her down a road to publishing her own personal narrative called, “A Pandemic in Residence: Essays from a Detroit Hospital.

“We will eventually forget about this pandemic, and people will stop getting vaccinated, and it will be at the back of our memories,” Mahmood said.

Mahmood told 6 News she would like our future generations to understand what it’s like to be a first responder in a hospital during the pandemic.

Other hardships were faced outside of the hospital setting. Most importantly, Mahmood wrote from her heart; she spoke on a regular workday, patients dying, mental health, and even being separated from her family to keep them safe.

“I was sleeping at a hotel at that time…it was during the pandemic,” Mahmood stated, “I moved out of my home and couldn’t find resident lodgings, so one of our family friends offered for me to stay at their hotels. It was very strange sleeping in an empty hotel.”

Mahmood began writing the excerpts for the book in March 2020, and officially published and released the book in July.

If you would like to purchase “A Pandemic in Residence: Essays from a Detroit Hospital” you can go to Target, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon online.

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