Esquire (USA) : 2020-06-01

20 LIVES, 20 PERSPECTIV­ES : 61 : 61


THE ER PHYSICIAN ENRIQUE LOPEZ Albany, Georgia Amount the federal government spent from 2011 until 2017 on protecting the nation from health threats Amount that went to assisting the country’s network of more than six thousand hospitals $118 BILLION: $6 BILLION: LAST WEEK, ALBANY, THE OTHER DAY, THE OTHER DAY, WE HUG EACH MY WIFE MADE I TRIED TO SAVE “I’m in my truck, looking at my daughter, and all I want to do is hug her,” Lopez, a father of three, told Esquire. He’d just returned home from work. “But I don’t want her to touch me.” “We were just having coffee this morning.” I’m really disappoint­ed in the church. I just feel like more priests need to be here in the trenches. Because that’s what the church has told people their whole lives. And then you have an eighty-year-old patient who thinks these sacraments are so important, and they aren’t available because of the virus. about presence. You can’t do confession over the telephone. You can’t do the sacrament of the sick over the telephone. We are an embodied faith. You need to be there with the person, holding their hands, anointing them with the oils, hearing their confession­s. There’s something so healing about touch. I just—I will never take being in a hospital for granted. Chaplain Gerne leads nurses through a body-scan meditation held in a serenity space, one of several throughout Mass General. I had a situation The church talks THE HOSPITAL CHAPLAIN What’s KATE GERNE CHAPLAIN, MASSACHUSE­TTS GENERAL HOSPITAL Boston My skills for —As told to D. H. 61 SUMMER 2020