From being a hero to being shunned: Stories from the front lines of Pittsburgh’s pandemic

by Teake Zuidema

As the first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine arrive, the rising number of infections still threaten to overwhelm workers at Pittsburgh-area ICUs and nursing homes. For workers in these settings, the tragedy of the pandemic has been an inescapable part of daily life for months. They’ve seen it all: from being called a hero to being shunned, and from working 16-hour shifts to quarantining at home. Despite hopeful news, they fear the worst is yet to come.

Below are the stories of three women who’ve spent most of 2020 working on the front lines.

At the end of March, Shannon Tully was the first nurse to tend to a COVID-19 patient in the intensive care unit at Forbes Hospital in Monroeville. She was also the first to intubate a very sick COVID-19 patient. And then, on April 2, she was the first nurse in the hospital who


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