Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: We’re fortunate to have Porter Hospital

I had to go into Porter Hospital this morning for what we call, I believe, a routine procedure — if I say that I had spent the previous day chugging Miralax to prepare, an inquiring reader might be able to figure out the details.

In any event, I was struck, and not for the first time, by just how lucky we are to have this facility close to hand. The doctors were great, but since I was mostly unconscious in their company it’s the nursing staff that really sticks in my mind. Six or seven people helped me at one point or another, and they were unfailingly kind, cheerful, neighborly and skilled. And when I was waking up, one of them was there to hand me a little Cabot cheddar to eat, which seemed the perfect welcome back to the world.

I have, of course, been reading about other parts of the country where hospitals are completely overwhelmed by COVID, and nurses entirely and understandably burned out and despairing. It occurs to me that I, and all other patients, also owe some thanks to our neighbors, almost all of whom got their shots and wore their masks and generally conspired to make sure that Vermont’s health care system came through the last year more or less intact. Caring — by professionals and by the rest of us amateurs — makes a real difference in the world!

Thank you.

Bill McKibben

Ripton

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