“Walk our unit for a day”

Los Angeles – California nurses are afraid.

It’s Christmas Eve, and they aren’t at home with their family. They are working, always working, fully dressed, and worn out.

They are afraid of what people are doing and what they are not doing during the coronavirus pandemic, which has already killed more than 320,000 people nationwide and shows no signs of slowing down.

They are even more afraid of what will happen next.

“Every day I look into the eyes of someone who is having trouble breathing,” said Jenny Carrillo, a nurse whose voice is cut off.

Carrillo, a nurse in charge of the Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, suffers from a daily number of COVID-19 patients. A dark shadow surrounds her eyes.

By Tuesday evening, there were 147 coronavirus patients in the hospital. This is a record of Holy Cross, but it’s just a small percentage of the 2 million cases recorded in California since the pandemic began.

Nearly 19,000 people are hospitalized in the state on Wednesday, which could exceed 100,000 per month, according to models. This is unimaginable in a healthcare system that already runs out of rooms. More than 23,000 COVID-19 people have died in California, and the number is expected to increase.

Dr. Jim Keeney, Deputy Director of the Emergency Department at Mission Hospital in Orange County, Southern California, wonders how much they can handle.

“Are we going to have the resources to take care of our community?” He said.

The first COVID-19 case in California was confirmed on January 25. It took 292 days to reach 1 million infections on November 11.

Just 44 days later, that number reached 2 million.

On Tuesday, Holy Cross had 147 coronavirus patients across its 377 beds. This is more than double the record seen in the hospital in the first wave of the pandemic earlier this year.

“What if you said there were 147 patients in April?” Said Elizabeth Chow, executive director and nurse leader for critical care at Holy Cross. “Never in my dream.”

And nightmares are expected to get worse.

Like last month’s Thanksgiving, millions of Americans are traveling before Christmas and New Year, despite health officials pleading for people to stay home.

Hospitals in California, and hospitals elsewhere, are already at stake. They hired additional staff, canceled elective surgery and set up outdoor tents to treat patients. All of this is to improve your ability before the cases contracted for Christmas and New Year’s Day appear in the next few weeks.

Holy Cross Hospital and Mission Hospital are studded with holiday decorations throughout the corridor. Poinsettia sitting on the counter, a jerky miniature tree in the hospital room, and a grinch caricature scribbled on the nurse station.

However, bright colors do not interfere with the constant dissonance. The ventilator burps like a foggy horn, the monitor beeps, and the machine spins. All of these are trying to prevent even one more death.

Still, there are moments of hope.

On Monday, Mission Hospital celebrated a milestone: 100 patients in the isolation intensive care unit-booked for the most illness-survived and returned home.

At Holy Cross, the Beatles’ Here Comes the Sun will be regenerated throughout the hospital when a COVID-19 patient is discharged.

The new pandemic tradition has happier roots. Hospitals often play lullabies every time a baby is born.

A few seconds of rest, but that’s not enough. More is allowed for all patients who go home.

Holy Cross Charge Nurse Melanilla Madrid wears purple gloves and takes turns taking care of the patient for 12 hours.

“That’s all we can do,” she said. “It’s hard to see them suffering.”

Not only are these nurses exhausted, they are also angry with those who plead to stay at home and stay safe.

“I wish they could walk our unit for a day and see the faces of some of these patients,” Carillo said.

You can be our messenger, the nurse Genyza Dawson tells the patient when or if he / she will be discharged. Dawson, who has a scar on his nose from a tight mask, asks them to spread the word.

“Now you know what it looks like,” she tells them. “You were one of the lucky ones.”

Copyright 2020 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

“Walk our unit for a day”

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