SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Mercy Medical Center workers have been forever changed by the COVID-19 pandemic, that began last March.

All the unknowns surrounding the novel virus, led to a lot fears, as patients kept coming into the hospital.

“I feared for my co-workers, those who got sick and didn’t get sick, and for the first time in my career, I was scared,” said Dr. Mark Kenton, Chief of Emergency Medicine for Mercy Medical Center.

As COVID-19 cases kept increasing, it put medical workers in a situation unlike any before. Hospital staff at Mercy Medical Center took time Thursday morning to reflect about their patients and the time they’ve spent battling the virus.

“Everyone would take their role, gather supplies to minimize exposure, and minimized the amount of people having to utilize the PPE,” said Laura Machado, nurse for Mercy Medical Center. “And we did it over and over again everyday.”

“Those patients faces have been embedded in our brains and in our memories, as they are all so special,” said Kathy Bowers, nurse for Mercy Medical Center.

Hospital leaders took a pause to remember COVID-19 patients who lost their lives. In a year, that has been dominated by COVID-19, staff also looked back on how the virus affected our world.

“Masking, six feet, zoom, web x, and toilet paper… who would have thought we’d have a shortage in toilet paper,” said Dr. Kenton.

The one-year commemoration ended with a drive-by of ambulances flashing their lights, to show solidarity among the workers.