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“We’re keeping up as best we can, but this is truly like nothing any of us have ever seen before,” a nurse from New York — who was not authorized to speak with the media and wished to remain anonymous — told Fox News.
It seems to be a refrain among health care experts grappling with the severity of the coronavirus pandemic. “The temperature is definitely rising,” said the healthcare provider, whose hospital is located some 30 miles north of New York City.
“This is the illness that will define my generation of nurses,” the nurse said.
Police guard area where New York State’s first drive through coronavirus mobile testing center opened in New Rochelle, N.Y.
Working in the hospital’s specialized cancer treatment facility hasn’t done much to assuage the health professional’s fears, or those of the people who rely on health care workers for treatment.
“Coming to work, even in my insulated workplace, feels ominous,” the nurse said. “[Our patients] are scared, and rightfully so. They are literally risking their lives to come for treatment and aside from eliminating visitors, mandating masks and taking everyone’s temperature at the front door, there is nothing more we can do to ensure their safety.”
Still, the nurse argued that the scariest part of witnessing this crisis from the inside, whether from the specialized unit or on the front lines like the nurse’s colleagues, is the apparent lack of preparedness.
New York City has seen over 23,000 cases of COVID-19.
“Never in my nursing career have we (I) not been able to give a [patient] an answer as to what comes next until now,” said the healthcare pro. “I think we all believed that we were better prepared for an event like this, but the reality has been sobering.”
This isn’t just a local problem either, the nurse suggested.
“I’m frustrated with both our federal leadership, as well as our health care delivery system. Lack of testing and available equipment are inexcusable considering the financial resources available in this country,” the nurse said.
“Never in my nursing career have we (I) not been able to give a [patient] an answer as to what comes next until now.”
— Anonymous nurse working just north of NYC
“We’ve been blind to the real and more likely threats that face us. Now, sadly, many innocent people are going to pay dearly for our leadership’s inexcusable ignorance.”
As of Friday morning, the novel coronavirus had infected more than 542,000 people across 175 countries and territories, resulting in over 24,361 deaths. In the U.S., all 50 states plus the District of Columbia have reported confirmed cases of COVID-19, tallying over 85,996 illnesses and at least 1,300 deaths.