Irish nurses in New York: ‘It was horrendous. I’ve never seen anything like it’
The top stories from Irish Times Abroad this week
Carmel Mangan, Siobhán Kates and Elizabeth Gallo, three Irish members of the nursing staff at St John’s Episcopal Hospital in Queens, New York. Photograph: Lauren Crothers
Many countries around the world continuing to ease Covid-19 restrictions. But, unfortunately, there’s been a surge in cases in some places including the parts of the US, Egypt and Beijing this week. Our most-read story this week is about three Irish nurses describing their lives working in New York hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic “I’ve seen more dead bodies in two months than in 20 years,” says Athlone emergency room nurse Siobhán Kates. For days, Kates worked “13 hours straight, not stopping to eat”, with just a bottle of water in her pocket to keep her going, while colleagues struggled to deal with patients in tents set up on the pavement.
Also popular this week is our story on how Irish people living abroad are finding life after lockdown as restrictions are lifted. The responses were varied from: “We’re back to alarm clocks, rushing and being busy - I don’t like it” to “there’s nothing about lockdown to miss”. When and how schools will reopen in Ireland is a controversial topic right now, but Irish parents around the world share their experiences of schools and creches that have reopened where they live: “It has gone surprisingly smoothly”.
Back to New York, protests against the killing of George Floyd continued this week. The atmosphere in the city has been described as “chilling” and akin to a “war zone” by some Irish people living in the city. Earlier in the week, Irish living across the US in Washington, California and Texas shared what they experienced and seen during the protests: “Being an Irish white family with a black son, there is so much we have realised”. Thank you to all our readers who submitted their views and experiences for these stories on Abroad this week.
And finally our Extraordinary Emigrant article this week is about an Irishman who gained a colourful reputation as a thief and became known as the “Prince of Pickpockets”. He later made a "career change" to become a policeman.
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