Covid Lore: Redefining Death in the Emergency Room

Stacy R. Nigliazzo (University of Houston)

The Covid-19 pandemic was declared in 2020, bringing with it unprecedented suffering and death, just as I was entering my 21st year as an emergency department caregiver. I and my colleagues (a folk group of frontline professionals) worked exhaustively to care for our communities. As a result, we created new ways of coping, including purification rituals, the elevation of ordinary items as protective adornments, the incorporation of music as intercession, and art projects to honor the dead. This paper reflects an insider’s view of this evolution and a discussion of its meaning and impact on an individual and community level.

Part of V2-04 Belief and Bonding: Three Insider Explorations of Community Narrative and Ritual, Wednesday, October 11, 3:30 pm–5:30 pm