Community Stories: Interview with an ER Nurse

Join Librarian Hongmei and Livingston resident Hannah Yan for this informative interview.


Looking to submit your own story and experience? Click here to fill out the Life in Livingston During COVID-19: A Community Story form.

On May 23, Livingston Public Library librarian Hongmei Liu had a virtual interview with Hannah Yan, a nurse who works on the frontlines of Covid 19. Using many pictures and some videos, Hannah described what she has experienced on the frontlines. This video is posted at:

Hannah, a Livingston resident, got transferred on March 16th from the Medical Adult Center to the Emergency Department at the Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck. As a triage nurse, she works outside in a tent and is the first face the admitted patients see. Not only has she witnessed so many patients’ physical struggles, she is also there for their emotional struggles.

Hannah said as a nurse, she should not only just help patients through her medical knowledge and experience, but also be there to comfort them and provide encouragement through devastating circumstances. At the hospital, family members would be grasping the uncertainty of their loved ones on sick beds. Hannah would sit with them and comfort them until they felt better.

What got her through these times were donations from residents and inspiring messages. She received so much support from her community through PPE donations. It’s because of  donations that the hospital never ran out of PPE. In the midst of COVID-19, the operating room nurses hung up a poster they made that said “after every storm comes a rainbow”.  This daily reminder gave her hope that this crisis will come to an end. Hannah thanks the community for the support and advises us to wash hands, keep social distancing, and to stay at home when you can.

-Hongmei, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian


Community Stories Part 3

Name: William

Age: 59

Any other information you’d like to share about yourself: I’m a proud 30 year Livingston resident, and even prouder Lancer Dad of two LHS graduates.

“Fears are many, but they can be managed. And conquered. Fears are job losses, life routine interruption, moving out of ones comfort zone and into uncharted waters.

Beloved restaurants closed, schools closed, Class of 2020 deprived of their proms and parties and graduation. Our beloved library closed, a refuge for many of us to lose ourselves in a good book, to learn and think, to embrace the knowledge of generations past.

These are all real fears that we all feel, at different levels, at different times. And our life routines derailed.

But my greatest fear is health. My family’s health, my friend’s health. The community’s health. The country’s health.

For these reasons we remain prudent. We quarantine (realizing everyone’s version of being prudent and safe can vary; we must understand that ,but we can also affect this with positive behaviors at the grocery stores, in our neighborhoods).

I feel Livingston has risen to the occasion, as we always do. I see people in masks when they need to be (although I saw a woman masked and texting while driving today – oh the safe practices irony here).
I see people being kind and considerate, and keeping safe spacing in public places.

One of the many positives, and yes, there ARE many positives, is time spent with my wife, as it is just the two of us now. (Perhaps her perception would be different than mine, as she has locked me in the basement a few times. With beer though.)
And many healthy and fun conversations with my children, my family and friends. Many Zooms!
A unique time to connect with many, as we share this journey together.

I am very impressed, and even a bit surprised , at the greater good we are all revealing to each other.

And our community has stepped up. My wife and I so enjoyed the Livingston Sings community Zoom event a few weeks ago. So many talented people, locally and beyond, together rising, and raising money, for people in the community in need. A great and memorable evening that offered the best of the spirit theater Livingston has to offer.

Another positive is the pace of life has slowed, and with that a chance to reflect, to find real moments of inner peace.

These moments are very rare in our “normal” lives, as frenetic and chaotic as they can be.

A chance and moment in time to fully appreciate “what matters most”.

I hope we all learn from this, I believe we will, and never lose sight of what, and whom, matters most.

This is a daunting and challenging (and scary ) moment in time for us all. And we will conquer this. We know that. We will cross that bridge, together, to a new normal.

And it is A moment in time that we can hopefully learn from, and emerge healthier, wiser and kinder.

We are all participants in this journey. And we will get to that destination, together , no matter how long it takes!
(Although let’s get this wrapped up by September, I’m a Jets fan and it’s going to be a big year for us!)

Peace, and love, to all…”


Looking to submit your own story and experience? Click here to fill out the Life in Livingston During COVID-19: A Community Story form.