At both hospitals, colleagues banded together and provided constant encouragement. In the Emergency Department at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, a wall of uplifting quotes served as a reminder of solidarity and hope. At Memorial Sloan Kettering, Carrie and her colleagues constantly checked in with each other, offering on their days off to meet up at a social distance and “cry together and let it out.”
“It was the little things that helped us get by,” Paulo says.
Carrie and Paulo isolated from loved ones at the peak of the crisis to help avoid the virus’s spread. Separation from family and friends proved especially difficult for the couple as they suffered the loss of close relatives and the hospitalization of others.
“There was so much going on, so we said, ‘You know what? We don’t want to remember 2020 as the year we got married, after all of this,’ ” Carrie says. The couple decided to postpone the wedding until June 2021.
Paulo and Carrie relied on the strength of their four-year relationship to overcome the unprecedented hurdles. After working on the front lines during the crisis, the small stressors of wedding planning now seem trivial.
While Carrie’s dress will sit in the closet for a little longer and new Change the Dates (featuring the couple wearing scrubs and masks) are awaiting their stamps, the two are looking forward to married life and the prospect of the new, big day.
“2020 has been a tough year for all of us. We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs,” Paulo says. “I’m hopeful that by next year we’ll be able to just celebrate something together. There’s so much anxiety about the future, but you can only hope for the best.”
“We’re taking it day by day, and at the end of the day, I have him, he has me,” Carrie adds. “We’re prepared for it because we have a really great support system around us. And after this year, I think we’re ready for any other challenge.”