Riverside pauses to honor front line workers and commemorate lives lost to COVID-19

Posted at 9:00 PM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 23:27:54-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – They are the heroes across Hampton Roads – the nurses, the doctors and the first responders – who took on COVID-19 since day one when very little was known about the deadly virus.

“It’s been an ever-changing roller coaster that we’ve been on for the past year,” said Dr. Gary Kavit, an ER doctor at Riverside Regional Medical Center. “The situation has been changing day by day, week by week.”

For many, the past 14 months have been filled with heartache and despair.

“I had to really tell the staff that this is what dying of COVID looks like,” said Kavit.

Dr. Kavit remembered the day his hospital in Newport News lost its first patient at the height of the pandemic.

“We brought the husband in and let him be in the ER outside the door through the glass door, and he was able to watch her pass away,” he said. “I think that was the first sort of patient wake-up call we had.”

Riverside Health System took a moment to reflect on some of the darkest moments, but also on times filled with reminders of resilience, determination and hope.

“We had to develop new ways and a new system of doing things,” Kavit said. “We were well prepared, and in many cases, we were downright lucky.”

As the country begins to emerge out of the pandemic, Riverside is reminding people to never forget the thousands of lives lost and touched by COVID-19.

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