We first met Celia Engelson ’04 last spring, at the peak of the first wave of the pandemic, when New York’s hospitals were overrun with Covid patients.
Celia was working as a nurse practitioner at a neurology clinic operated by the NYU Langone Medical Center — but when Langone’s hospital floors filled with coronavirus patients, she was redeployed to work as an inpatient N.P. on a Covid ward.
“It’s all hands on deck,” she told us in May. “In a weird way, this is an exciting time — it’s new every day.”
Today, Celia is back at her regular post, where her professional life is as busy as it ever was.
She was given her initial shot of the coronavirus vaccine just three days before Christmas.
Daniel Genovese–Scullin ’07 graduated from the Wagner College Theatre program in 2007, but after six years of touring he wanted to settle down — which, for him, meant changing professions. He earned his R.N., worked as a critical care nurse, and enrolled for his master’s degree at Sacred Heart.
Dan joined the staff at Richmond University Medical Center on Staten Island in 2018 as a pediatric trauma manager. A year earlier he had married Anthony Genovese and, with his career on a stable trajectory, the couple wanted to start a family.
But last March, Dan was pulled from the trauma program to work bedside in RUMC’s new Covid unit, working 13-hour shifts whenever he was needed.
“It’s been hard,” he said in April, “and, of course, there have been some really sad moments. Even so, it’s been great to see how everyone has come together to work as a team.”
All the while, he and Anthony were preparing for new life in their household. Anthony’s twin sister had donated an egg and Dan’s sister was carrying their baby, MaryRose, who was born on May 25 — “our little Memorial Day gift,” Dan calls her.
Dan is back to working behind a desk at RUMC as director of trauma services for both adults and children.
Since graduating, Jessica Donnelly ’18 has worked in the emergency department at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, covering 12-hour shifts three or four times a week.
“We started hearing about the coronavirus in January, February, but we weren’t sure then if it would be coming here,” Jessica said. “It wasn’t until March that we even knew it was airborne.”
Since then, however, she and her colleagues have seen it up close, every day.
Jessica first heard about the possibility of getting the vaccine at the beginning of December, when her hospital sent an email to emergency and intensive care staff to find out who wanted to get it.
“I did some research on my own,” she said. “My conclusion was that, whatever the side effects, the benefits of the vaccine far outweighed the risk of getting Covid-19.”
On Tuesday, Dec. 15, she got the first of her two vaccine shots — one of the first in America to get it.
“My hope is that the vaccine is the beginning of the end of all this,” she said. “Maybe by this time next year, this will all be over.” ϒ