In a segment culled from clips he has posted to his Instagram over the past weeks, Rachel Maddow profiled Dan Renzi, who most probably remember as a housemate on MTV’s The Real World: Miami back in 1996. Renzi, now a nurse living in Kansas, recently moved to NYC after feeling a duty to help in the coronavirus crisis.
Renzi has been documenting his experience on Instagram, and the clips are, as you can imagine, emotional.
Said Renzi in one clip: “If you told me that not too many years after I graduated that I would be living in a hotel in New York while I was putting bodies in body bags because this mysterious virus was mowing down everybody’s grandparents… how do you process that? I didn’t have to come but at the same time I did. If I didn’t come, who will? But it doesn’t make it any easier.”
Renzi also talked about having to make the phone calls to people whose loved ones have died: “People know that it’s coming — that phone call — but it doesn’t make it any easier.”
And perhaps the most emotional was a story Renzi told about how he’s given the responsibility of tying toe tags on bodies to prepare them to be carried to the morgue.
Said Renzi: “They have me do this because I’m the biggest one on the floor and I can lift them easily in bed. So I’ve been looking at a lot of faces, and I keep seeing my parents, and if you could please, I’m 1500 miles away from home. I can’t do anything about it here, so I’m just going to ask you guys a favor, if any of you ever see my parents out and about, tell them to go home. They do not need to be going to the store. … We’re busting our asses here doing CPR on intubated patients and my father is driving around town, so please, if you see him out, just tell him to go home. They can wait this out.”