‘We picked up our food and the girl at the register bagging up the food had a cough! She was coughing and packing people’s orders!’: Nurse thanks community for acts of kindness, ‘This is not a drill’

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“I just need to speak my mind a bit. I am a nurse and I get asked, pretty regularly, about my thoughts on the COVID-19 situation.

I’m don’t want people to panic. I don’t want people to freak out. But this is not a drill. This is for real. We have COVID19 in our community. Right now. We are seeing some super sick folks from it. And I feel like a part of our community isn’t taking it seriously. Drive by Lowes and Home Depot  and you’ll see the parking lot is packed. Walmart? Packed. The basketball court we drive past always had folks out on it playing, until finally the parks were closed. Our family is trying to support local restaurants as much as we can. We picked up our food the other night and the girl at the register bagging up the food had a cough! She’s coughing and packing up people’s orders! Are you kidding me?!

It’s clear now, the data out of China wasn’t accurate. It DOES affect young healthy adults. It DOES affect children. It is here in our area, right now. NYC is running out of ventilators. They have contingency plans on trying to decide who gets a vent and who doesn’t, or who gets taken off a vent for someone else. They are even coming up with a lottery system in case they are just totally overwhelmed. They will use a random number generator to impartially decide who gets a vent and who doesn’t. New Orleans is in bad shape. Chicago is in bad shape. I don’t want to see us in that shape. I don’t want to have to watch someone die because all the vents are taken.

This is not a drill.

Now for the positive: Most people who get it will be okay. 80+% have only mild symptoms. At least that is what we are hearing right now; I hope that holds true. But the folks who get sick get really sick, and take weeks to recover. Which is why you can run out of ventilators in a hurry. The problem is there really isn’t a way to predict who’s going to get really sick. It may be the elderly frail or may be the healthy 30 year old. We’ve seen both already here in town.

We are in a relatively rural area. We don’t have the population density of NYC. If we can sit tight for a little bit we can avoid the chaos that they are seeing over there. Go get your groceries, get your necessities, but then get out. Support our local restaurants, but I beg those of you working at the restaurants that you take the health of your employees and customers seriously. Anyone coughing needs to go home, immediately. And wash your hands. Over and over again. The yard/house projects can wait. If you have cold symptoms, even mild, don’t go out for anything. Have someone bring you what you need and drop it off on your porch. Honestly, I’m more uncomfortable in the grocery store, without my mask and without my gloves or hand sanitizer, than I am at the hospital. If I come down with it, it could be from my grocery run as much as it could be from work. So ask if your trip out is really necessary or not.

Overall the local community has been amazing. People are dropping off masks and food and those of us on the front lines appreciate it more than you know. It’s AWESOME to know folks have our backs. I have received so many encouraging texts and emails and messages. I am encouraged that people are praying for the front line healthcare workers. Keep those prayers and texts coming! Donuts are good as well.

I work with some AMAZING people at the hospital who are bravely stepping up every day to take care of our patients. And we’re getting ready, as best as we can, for the storm that’s coming. But you can help us, yourself, and your friends and family by taking these restrictions seriously.”

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by a man who wishes to remain anonymous. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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