Mary Lynn Bianco was on a team call last week when her manager asked, “How’s everyone doing?”
Mary Lynn said she was fine – but worried. Her daughter, Nicole Bianco, is a nurse in a cancer hospital in New York City. Nicole’s job is to help treat patients with intestinal cancer. Clad in biohazard gear, she’s now caring for people with severe COVID-19 symptoms.
“I hear the stories every day, and the stories are not good. And I know she is worried, too,” said Mary Lynn, director, network quality & service transformation office, part of the Global Operations & Services organization in AT&T Business.
Mary Lynn and her daughter text or call daily. “The stress level is super high. It’s really a developing situation. We don’t know what it will be like in a week or a month,” Mary Lynn said.
New York City is in the midst of grappling with of the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 164,500 cases and more than 13,000 deaths (as of May 1, 2020), according to a New York City government site.
“I’m worried about her – and the other healthcare workers,” Mary Lynn said.
That’s why Mary Lynn has this message for fellow employees: “Stay home (if you can). Follow the guidelines. Social distancing is so important.”
Mary Lynn is serving business customers from her home office in Katonah, New York, about 50 miles north of New York City. Her responsibilities expanded recently to include serving on 1 of the 6 COVID-19 Command Centers for Global Operations & Services.
A lot of these business customers are in public safety, Mary Lynn said. “Our customers depend on AT&T now more than ever before, and we are here to serve them any way we can. The collaboration across our organization has been inspiring.”
“I’m thankful I can work. A lot of people in other industries have lost their jobs. And I’m able to work and support the frontline of defense against COVID-19, supporting my colleagues and our customers. So that’s very helpful,” she said.
But she does miss going to the gym daily. Mary Lynn takes regular walks to help with the stress. But still, she finds her thoughts returning to her daughter and the other healthcare workers, as she recently told her team.
That’s when the team took action. Ryan Walton-King, Kirk Monday, Martin Lukacovsky, Gina Vogler, Shayna Kantor, Cindy Swinford, Michelle Sommerville, Monique Miller and Jeanette Hostetler are located across the country – and in Bratislava – but they banded together to send Nicole and her fellow medical personnel several meals, including a pizza lunch and a stack of burritos. This week, Nicole used a gift card from the AT&T team to order chicken sandwiches for the night shift.
“They’re going crazy they’re so excited,” Nicole texted her mom.
Mary Lynn said her daughter has been “overwhelmed” that the AT&T team came together and supported her team at the hospital. Here’s part of what Nicole wrote the business team: “While times are certainly difficult right now, it’s things like this that keeps our spirits up!”
Another thing that helps: When Nicole walks home, people applaud for her and other healthcare workers, her mother said.
“I am proud of her. Always. Always,” said Mary Lynn. But she’ll never stop worrying.