Part IV [Here's the thing about losing a limb : (Here is part III)

The ambulance pulls up to the hospital quietly. And not the ER doors, they are by a back door.

"Wait, where are you taking me?" says Ralph.

"We are going straight to the reverse air flow room. Less chance of contaminating the ER and neither of us is critical, right, Ralph?" The two ambulance people climb out first and the big one gives Dr. T a hand stepping down.

"I guess." says Ralph under his breath. He ignores the big guy's hand and steps down onto the little step. Dr. T. is at the door. Once inside, they go up a set of stairs and come out into a hallway with patient rooms. The ambulance crew leads them to a room. Ralph has been in hospital rooms, but this is weird. There is a smaller outer room, like an airlock, with a window and two doors. One to the hallway and one to the inner room. It has a trash bin, a sink, and a hospital laundry container, as wells as a pile of the tyvek suits.

"Huh." says Ralph. They go through the small room and in to an inner room. It looks like a normal hospital room. Only one bed, door to bathroom, all of the strange outlets and wall attachments. There is a stethoscope as well as the eye and ear exam set ups. There is a freestanding blood pressure cuff on wheels. "So it's kind of like a ER hood room."

Ralph realizes Dr. T. isn't with him. He looks back anxiously. "He is in the room next door. He will call you on the phone after you are both seen by the doctors," says the big one.

"Mr. Jaunds, we're going to ask you to keep your gear on until the team has come and talked to you. We will have you take it off when they are ready to send in a tech for blood draw."

"Do you two gotta be isolated too?"

"You are in quarantine, actually, since we are trying to figure out if this is an infection. Isolation is if you have an infection."

"Ok," says Ralph. "What do you mean, team?"

"Doctor, resident, medical student, nurse, phlebotomist, don't know if they will do x-rays yet."

"Oh, yeah." says Ralph, "I gotta start with a student?" He doesn't sound as fierce as he'd like. More querulous.

"No, the whole team will come at once, ok? Limit door openings and so forth. No visitors for now."

"I kinda knew that." says Ralph. He is in a downhill side room, with a view down towards the river. It's grey with a few bright spots of sun on the river. I5 is flowing, though rush hour has not quite started yet.

"Ok, the team is out there. They will come in as soon as we go. Take care, Mr. Jaunds." Neither ambulance person holds out a hand. Ralph gives a half-hearted wave. The ambulance crew go out to the anteroom and strip off their tyvek. Both wash their hands and then leave. Ralph sits on the one chair, as the team enters the anteroom. Two women, two men. One of the women looks young. Ralph thinks she is the student. He sits on the one chair, watching them gear up to come in.

HEPA air filtration, from chapter III:
2023 Iron 2

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