Bonnie Hess

Gloves, gowns, masks and other personal protective equipment assist in protecting us from COVID-19, but they can’t shield us completely. Nothing can protect us from the pain and anguish we feel watching patients suffer and die from this terrible virus.

Since the pandemic started, we have worked long hours treating patients who are extremely ill. The work is exhausting, scary and heartbreaking. The emotional toll is real and has hit especially hard with the Delta Variant surge. The most frustrating feeling is knowing that many of the patients we care for could have prevented being in this situation if they had only gotten the vaccine. As I write this, 100% of the COVID-19 patients in the hospital at NTMC are unvaccinated and since the Delta wave hit us, that number has never been less than 90%.

Regardless of the vaccination status of our patients, the staff at NTMC take care of our patients like they are family. We love this community and hate to see our friends and neighbors suffer. Unfortunately, due to the aggressive nature of the Delta Variant, the situation for patients once they need hospitalization can be grim. Many do not recover despite all of the advances that have been made to combat the virus and treat patients with COVID-19. That means we witness the very worst this disease has to offer. We hold patients’ hands as they die. We see family members lose mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, spouses and children.

Although we are professionals trained to comfort and treat the ill and deal with suffering and death, the longevity of the pandemic is just wearing us down. To put it simply, we’re just tired. Tired of the virus, tired of wondering if we are taking it home to our family and friends, tired of watching people suffer, tired of selfish people who aren’t concerned about COVID-19 because it’s not directly affecting them, and tired of wearing these {expletive} masks!

Right now, every day is just another day in this pandemic with no end in sight. Although we are tired, we won’t stop fighting for our patients, our community, and hoping for a better tomorrow. I’m proud that we are doing everything we can and I know that the majority of our community recognizes our sacrifices. The best way to support us is to get vaccinated if you haven’t already and get treatment early if you have signs or symptoms of the virus.

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