Unit on the Brink: Voices of the COVID Frontline is a podcast series that shares the raw stories of health care workers at University Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. The six episodes tell the story of the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic in Utah from the perspective of healthcare workers in the Medical Intensive Care Unit. The unit treats the sickest of the sick in the University of Utah Health healthcare system. Their stories offer a snapshot of the virus bearing down on one state, one group of healers, one ICU from March through October 2020. Along with exploring the backstories of what brought these dedicated critical care providers to their profession, Unit on the Brink charts their struggles with first the fears of a surge that doesn’t come, and then by summer climbing COVID-19 patient rosters. They face a virus that seems as random in the people it infects as it is merciless in its destructiveness on the body. As COVID-19 patients came under nurse Megan Diehl’s care, their constant fight to breathe and the aggressive treatments used to care for those patients impacted her deeply, making all the more painful the protests she saw on local TV news of unmasked crowds demanding that businesses be allowed to re-open. At first, charge nurse Cat Coe thought COVID-19 was another flu, but as young people with no medical history came into her unit extremely sick—and getting sicker—she became not only worried for them, but also for herself, her partner, and her community. She had chosen nursing as a career because she wanted to be a public servant. In the face of a global pandemic, she discovered both the fundamental value of her role and, as the months went on, the price many nurses and their medical colleagues would pay. These are just some of the stories and the story-tellers who feature in Unit on the Brink, the first news-style podcast told from the perspective of healers on the frontline in the United States.
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