Raymond Sherwood: COVID Survivor

Raymond Sherwood, NY Local 1-2 former executive board member, was stricken by COVID early in the pandemic. He’s back to work, feeling strong, and shares his thoughts in his own words so others can learn from his experience.

Raymond Sherwood

It was early March when I got admitted into the hospital. My lungs and nostrils felt like sandpaper, like sawdust piling up. COVID does a lot of things. I also had bilateral pneumonia.

After I got out, I got a call from the Con Ed Pandemic Team. They had scheduled me to go back to work the day after my two-week quarantine was up. I let him know that I was not going to return to work until I got cleared by my doctor, who said I needed to be quarantined for three weeks. He said “ok.”

I’m a collector, meter operations, out in the field. I deal with a lot of people. Before I was stricken with this illness, my co-worker and I criticized management about not sanitizing the place enough. The next week I went out sick.

We are months into the pandemic now, and at a recent meeting with management about COVID, we let them know that they are still not doing enough, not keeping up with what needs to get done. They are lagging, half-stepping. For example, they are still not taking temperatures when people enter the building and they are not sanitizing the place adequately.

Once stricken by COVID, you go through a lot of stress. You feel like you are tagged. I respect my co-workers and don’t want to infect anyone else.

The lesson I learned is that management does not respect the workforce enough. We have the power to change that by being active union members.