With Pride Month coming to an end, I had to make sure I featured someone in the LGBTQ+ Community on Covid in California.
In fact, this feature highlights not one, but TWO female nurses, who started dating during the pandemic, while working on the frontlines.
Meet Micaela Pericone-Kapp (left) and Lindsay Singer (right).
Two nurses, working on the frontlines, who fell in love during a global pandemic.
Let’s back up for a second. Lindsay and Micaela did not meet during Covid-19. They actually met a year prior, in April of 2019, through a mutual friend. Although they both were not looking to date at that time, the stars aligned as everything was shutting down in April of 2020. Sometimes, things happen when you least expect it.
RR: How has dating been during Covid-19?
LS: “Dating during Covid-19 has been awesome because we really got to know each other fast and spend a lot of time together. We are still adjusting to the relationship post pandemic because that’s all we have known…”
MPK: “It was a truly special time for our relationship to grow and for both of us to grow personally, as well.”
The two nurses were actually working at different hospitals when Covid-19 surfaced, but in October 2020, Micaela got a job at Lindsay's hospital. How convenient!
When I heard this, I obviously had to ask the following question:
RR: What’s the best / worst part about working with your girlfriend?
LS: “The best part about working with my girlfriend is that I get to see her beautiful face and laugh with her. The worst part is when we see each other stressed and overwhelmed.”
Sidebar: They filled out these questions separately and at different times, but look how similar their responses are!
MPK: “The best part about working with my girlfriend is that I get to see the sweetest face more often, even if it’s just in passing between shifts! The worst part is seeing her stressed out and wishing I could help more.”
It is quite evident that the two are head over scrubs in love with each other (bad joke, sorry). I got to see this first hand during my photo shoot with them. But then I wondered...what would it be like to work with your significant other?!
See below for my interview with Lindsay and Micaela:
RR: Do you keep this hidden from your coworkers or are you open about it?
LS: “Everyone at works know we are together.”
MPK: “We’re both pretty open about our relationship.”
RR: Did you celebrate Pride Month? If so, how?
LS: “We celebrated just us two being together because everything was closed for Covid, and there weren’t any parades. We just hung out by the pool and relaxed.”
MPK: “I was so honored I to spend Lindsay’s first pride month with her, even if it was just us!”
Now, let’s shift gears to what it has been like to work as a nurse in a hospital during Covid in California…
RR: How has Covid-19 impacted you personally?
LS: “I have never seen so much struggle and death in my life. It made me grateful to have good health and no major comorbidities that put me at an increased risk for the virus. I was grateful I had the health, strength, and energy to be able to care for these patients. Before Covid, I thought I was tired on my days off and I was only working 3 shifts a week (normal workload for a nurse). I found myself working up to 5 12-hour shifts for weeks on end. I surprised myself many times when my body fought like hell to be there for my patients and my unit when they needed it most. My life changed drastically during this pandemic. I had a breakup in the beginning and started a new relationship. I’m really close with my family and I wasn’t able to see my parents at a close distance. It became a normal thing to wave and say hi to my parents from the doorway. I became so grateful that every morning I could wake up and be able to breathe and go back to work and take care of these patients.”
MPK: “It’s impacted every aspect of myself, but my mental health and work life the most. I will never be able to forget the impacts of Covid-19.”
RR: Did you or anyone you know get it?
LS: “We had a breakout of Covid-19 amongst my colleagues in my unit at the hospital. It was definitely tough when we were already short staffed and we had one of our own struggling at home. We had a few of the staff hospitalized for treatment, but thankfully, they all have recovered. My twin sister ended up catching Covid…the hardest part was seeing her home sick and not being able to take care of her.”
MPK: “To my knowledge, I have not had Covid. My sister and Lindsay’s sister had it though.”
RR: What specifically changed your personal / professional life during this time? I.E. what daily routine did you have to adjust?
LS: “It was weird when Covid-19 hit because I was used to doing a lot of things on my days off. When I did get a day off, I usually spent the time resting, catching up on sleep, and washing my scrubs, so that I was mentally and physically ready for my next shift at the hospital. I always wanted to try and do more on my days off, but I continued to remind myself that if I didn’t get some rest, I wouldn’t be able to do my best for my patients and coworkers.”
MPK: “The energy of our hospital grew to be chaotic and at times, almost suffocating, due to how much physical work there was for us nurses. The nurse to patient ratio was so off and. the demand for a healthcare professional was at an all time high. In all honesty, my co-workers and I are still traumatized by everything we’ve seen. We really maxed out our physical and mental limits to care for these incredibly sick patients. Personally, I’ll never forget the first full day I had off after working a month straight at the hospital. I literally couldn’t get out of bed and cried for the entire day. It was like my whole body actually had a chance to stop and process everything I had been putting myself through. The sadness and weight of my job completely affected my personal life because it was so emotionally and physically taxing.”
RR: Is there a story behind your mask?
LS: “My mask at work has become a life-saving symbol. We went from changing it every time we went in and out of a room to using the same one for weeks on end because of the shortage. We put our trust in this object to protect us. It is especially scary when we are in a code blue and it’s hot and sweaty and you’re worried about air escaping into your mask. My personal mask is such a relief. It’s so much lighter than the typical masks we wear at work. I also love my personal mask because Michaela gave it to me."
MPK: “Behind the mask is just me. Someone who loves life and deeply misses being with others without any restrictions.”
RR: What do you miss most about life before Covid-19?
LS: “I think the thing I miss the most prior to covid was traveling. I loved traveling to try new foods in different countries and see how different places live day to day. As things start opening up again I hope to try new places locally and travel within the US more.”
MPK: “I miss being able to take in a full breath metaphorically and literally when outside my home.”
RR: What has Covid-19 made you grateful for?
LS: “Covid-19 has made me grateful for my health, my girlfriend, family, and my dogs. I don’t think I could have made it through some of these days without them. My dogs have been my saving grace. They always are so happy and just give me that extra layer of love and happiness.”
MPK: “Covid-19 has made me grateful for my body, mind, and support system that I’ve been able to rely on.”
RR: What has been the biggest challenge for you during this time?
LS: “The biggest challenge for me is I wanted to do more and give more. I wanted my patients to get better and go home and unfortunately a lot of them haven’t had that privilege. We give everything to our patients and sometimes it just isn’t enough.”
MPK: “The biggest challenge for me has been actually turning inward. For me and I think a lot of other people, 2020 has also been the year of the inner child. I have addressed deep rooted personal issues that have stretched me beyond my limits, even more than the pandemic has. When the world literally stops as we know it and distractions aren’t as easily accessible, you begin to hear your inner child calling for you. I was shutting her out for the longest time and now that I had more time to sit with myself, I heard her very loud and clear for the first time. It was time I gave her the love and attention she’s been waiting so patiently for. This has been by far the most challenging time of my life, but recently I have been reaping the benefits of more consistent inner peace and self love.”
RR: What are you most excited for when things return to “normal”?
LS: “I’m most excited to travel with Micaela! We have a huge list of places we want to see together and I can’t wait to be able to hop on a plane and not worry about anything. All of our relationship has been during this pandemic so I’m excited to see Lindsay & Micaela without this pandemic. Another thing I’m excited for is be able to hug my parents and see my 1 year old niece. I want to be around them and not worry about giving them covid! I’m excited to not see multiple people die on the daily. I have faith science will be able to give us the resources to send these patients back to their families and people will get vaccinated!”
MPK: “I’m the most excited about experiencing normal life again with the love of my life. Lindsay and I met in April of 2020, right when the world was shutting down. Our entire relationship has been during quarantine. I can’t wait to do many “firsts” with her, like going to Greece and Bali, Disneyland, and even just going out on a normal date where we can sit in a restaurant without any social distancing or mask restrictions. Life right now is already amazing with her, so I can’t even imagine what it will be like when we get to share all those other experiences together.”
Thank you, Lindsay and Micaela, for sharing your stories with me and for your sedulous work as nurses on the frontlines.
If you or anyone you know would like to be featured on Covid in California, please direct message me on social media or shoot me an email - I’d love to share your story with the world! 🌎
Although things have opened up and we are inching are way back to normality, we cannot forget the impact(s) Covid-19 has had on all of us.
Much love, health, kindness, and happiness,