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Music, Standing Ovations, and Flamingos: Celebrating When Patients with COVID-19 Go Home

Healthcare workers find creative ways to recognize recovery

Even as frontline healthcare professionals work around the clock to treat patients with COVID-19, they’ve found time to celebrate each patient who is recovering from the disease and is ready to go home from the hospital.

Upbeat music is a popular choice to mark the occasion. Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, which discharged more than 1,000 patients with COVID-19 between mid-March and mid-April, plays patients out to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Mount Sinai Health System in New York City puts on “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles.

Some patients get a standing ovation from staff as they leave the hospital. Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, Wisconsin, which discharged its 1,000th patient with COVID-19 in mid-April, had a three-story round of applause for the discharge of 81-year-old Wynonia Payne.

In Cape Girardeau, Missouri, lawn flamingos have taken up residence in a fountain outside Saint Francis Healthcare System. Each one represents a COVID-19 patient discharged and healing at home, creating a vibrant flock to track the community’s recovery.