“At the height of the epidemic, Michael had this great idea of donating a plaque to every hospital employee, specifically in New York, because New York was fighting it hard,” said Eli Brunner, director and merchant Gittes. CNN.
Gittes recruited Bronner to help him find the perfect hospital to donate.
Based on Gittes specifications, it should have been a nonprofit hospital in a under-served community, with an Intensive Care Unit to treat coronavirus patients. Bruner said it should have been small enough for Gates to draw a unique and original painting of every employee, from doctors and administrators to cleaners, security guards, and cafeteria workers.
They decided that the interfaith medical center in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn would be well suited for the project.
At the height of coronavirus infection in New York, the Interfaith Medical Center occupied about 90% of patients with coronavirus, hospital CEO Larry Brown told CNN.
“On April 12, we had 136 patients with diseases related to spurs,” Brown said. “We were basically Coved Hospital.”
According to Bruner, it became possible to frame and ship paintings across the continent with the money raised from collectors. Brown told CNN that the paintings arrived in Brooklyn on Monday in 40 boxes, and they were distributed on Thursday.
“When they actually got up and saw these paintings, it was like Christmas,” religions CFO Tracy Greene told CNN.
Green said: “They felt like … they had worked tirelessly in the past two months, and for someone to see that, and only give them a gift, they were very happy.”
“These flowers are for everyone.”
According to Bruner, Gittes wanted to fight the feeling of powerlessness caused by the epidemic, and used his art to honor healthcare workers.
The project, entitled “Strangers to No One”, aims to tell frontline workers that they are loved by the artist and the world, and they are fighting in this difficult war against the coronavirus.
“You are loved by millions of people you will never meet. I am not a stranger to anyone. These flowers are for everyone,” said Bruner of Gittes.
Acrylic paintings were created using syringes, connecting the artist and hospital workers.
“Either way, they use an injection to help others recover,” Bruner told CNN.
Bruner explained that Gates painted a flower for each hospital worker because the workers themselves are like flowers in the garden, and they support all aspects of life.
By sending art home, Bruner said, Gittes wants to give them a “moment of peace of madness.”
“I think many people don’t realize how this mental, physical and emotional epidemic was, not just for our medical workers and hospital workers, but for their families,” said Bruner.
Brown’s executive director told CNN she could be associated with that sentiment.
“Most of us worked seven days a week, 18 hours a day,” said Brown.
“We all deal with the fact that we want to be careful and protect our families, and deal with our personal losses.”
She told CNN that Brown had lost two of his relatives. She said the virus “touched everyone’s life.”
An impressive gift
When she first approached Gittes’ intention to donate drawings to each of the Interfaith workers, Brown said her reaction was skeptical. After all, Gittes is based in Los Angeles and has nothing to do with Brooklyn.
“It was almost, sort of, why?” Brown told CNN.
Brown said the more the project was discussed, the more Gates’ intentions “took us all.”
Brown told CNN that the similarity between hospital staff and a life-support garden has already spoken to hospital staff. She acknowledges the role not only of doctors and nurses who fight the virus every day, but also of employees in other departments whose supportive role causes the hospital to continue to function.
“When you are not on the frontline and you pay salaries so the nurses can get money, or you just pay the bills so we can get our personal protective equipment … they were so relieved that they saw what Greene, the hospital’s chief financial officer, said.
“There is no magic bullet yet”
“Fortunately, we can all breathe easier now,” said Brown.
But in the spring, the situation was much different.
To help determine the amount of pressure the coronavirus has caused to the hospital, chief religions operations officer Charles Bove said the number of daily “electronic cylinder” portable oxygen tanks increased from 88 to more than 200.
Green told CNN that this epidemic also prolonged the amount of time the patients were in hospital, which essentially doubled from about five days to about 10 days.
The hospital is preparing for a return case in the fall and Brown said employees want people to understand the importance of recommendations such as wearing a mask and practicing the social dimension.
“If they had seen youngsters come with minor symptoms, and within hours, suddenly they could not breathe, and within minutes of that, they should be put in intubation, and some people would die, they would not be irresponsible,” said Brown, stressing her concern Sure that people will be satisfied all summer.
“The least you can do is to wear a mask, social exclusion, and wash your hands,” Brown told CNN.
As the pharmaceutical industry raced to find a vaccine and strides in treating the virus, Brown said people should use proven tools.
And she said, “There’s no magic bullet yet.”