Effects of the Pandemic in a Hospital Community: Shaw/Howard University


Ted Eytan

50 years later. #dc1968

Uptown DC. More specifically, the Shaw community. This is one of the areas of our nation’s capital that Banneker students are most familiar with. Students and teachers know this area very well, from the large buildings around to the food places and small businesses. One thing a select few may not be as familiar with, though, is the large hospital building that resides just two blocks away from the Shaw Metro Station: Howard Hospital.

With the pandemic still in our midst, some areas have yet to open, however all essential workers are still working hard to make sure both themselves and everyone around their work environment is safe. Almost everyone you see at the hospital has a mask on their face, and everyone is, for the larger part, attempting to avoid an increased spread of the coronavirus. 

Patients and visitors at this medical center, as well as in hospitals across the nation, have been placed under very strict regulations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). A few basic regulations include making sure every person that enters the hospital has their temperature checked, sanitizes properly, and maintains social distancing at all times. 

However, certain events at Howard Hospital have begun to raise concerns for whether or not other regulations are too strict in hospitals nationwide, to the point where they could potentially pose a risk to certain individuals. 

For Joseline Flores, a receptionist at Howard Hospital, the regulations seemed to have left patients and visitors at a disadvantage. It’s her job to greet all hospital staff and patients that enter the building and direct them to their designated area. So of course, she keeps up with what happens in the hospital on a day-to-day basis, and recently Flores has noticed that there are ‘special cases’ at times that clash with the regulations in order to ensure the individual patient’s safety. 

“There was this one time during the day where a pregnant woman came in with her husband,” began Flores, “and since the policy is to limit the number of people who enter the other parts of the building, we could not allow the husband to accompany her upstairs. She had to go [give birth] alone.” 

The COVID-19 regulations have definitely put a halt to a large population in the hospital, and in certain scenarios, the regulations aren’t ideal for the patient. 

More specifically, patients who need additional support when walking with certain injuries such as broken legs or back problems may be susceptible to additional injuries while trying to navigate around the hospital, as it poses a big safety risk to remove the additional support from the patients who need it. 

Flores keeps her hopes high and “expect[s] that in the future things begin to run smoothly for patients.”