Watch this. Read this. Heed her words.
I live around half an hour from both the hospitals she refers to (one is in Novi, the other in Southfield). Michigan has the fifth-highest number of confirmed cases and the eighth-highest per capita (as of this writing, we have around 2,300 confirmed cases of COVID-19), at 1 confirmed case per 4,300 residents.As of this writing, 43 Michigan coronavirus patients have died.
The video is about 7 minutes long, but I implore you to watch the entire thing. For those who can't view or hear it, i've transcribed it verbatim below.
Credit: @Mary Macdonald
“Hi everyone. Bear with me; this is my first Instagram or Facebook video that I have ever made. I’ve been inspired by some of my friends and family to make a video in regards to the coronavirus and what’s really going on on the front lines.
This video is probably gonna be really vulnerable on my part and really raw so I apologize for that in advance. As most of you do or don’t know, I’m an emergency room nurse and have been working on the front lines of this coronavirus for the last ten plus days, and I have to admit in being totally transparent that if you had asked me 10+ days ago if I thought that this was gonna get as bad as it was I would’ve told you “no”.
I mean, you heard the rumors, you saw the trends, but until you see it firsthand you just have no idea what it’s like; what it’s going to be like, and it’s truly frightening and I’m here to talk to you guys about that.
So, things have been changing for us on the front lines every single day, hourly, in regards to policies and procedures that we should be putting into place to fight off this coronavirus, and the numbers are starting to double and triple in regards to people that are coming in. Most people are not getting tested, especially if you’re walking while you’re being sent home to quarantine.
Coming into the hospitals is not going to benefit you unless you really are having respiratory distress, and that’s what we’re starting to see now, is the people who didn’t follow the guidelines to quarantine from the beginning and we’re starting to see people coming in, and last night was...I want to say my breaking point...was my reality check in regards to what happened.
I was sitting at home on my first night off and my boss texted me and called me and said hey, they really need help in Southfield in the emergency room. Everybody’s sick...they’re intubating everybody and all these patients need help.
So, of course we got up without any sleep and went and worked a night shift until 7:30 this morning with some of the bravest co-workers I’ve ever met in my life. My friend and co-worker Lauren went there as Novi representatives to help the Southfield staff and there’s nothing to describe what happened there. It’s getting to the point now that we’re gonna be just like Italy. We intubated from 10pm last night until this morning we intubated two of my patients within a half-hour and I would say upwards of 10 patients were put on ventilators...my patient took the last ventilator available in the hospital at 7am.
So what does that mean going forward? Resources are very slim. We have no medications to keep these patients even ventilated, let alone ventilators. Medications like fentanyl or propofol that would keep a patient sedated while they’re intubated we’re out of...we’re out of Tylenol. We’re out of Tylenol. And that’s not even going back to the fact that we don’t have any ventilators to put these patients on.
So we’re gonna start making life or death decisions in regards to people’s care. So...you’re gonna come in and you’re gonna get tagged whether you’re deemed necessary to even get intubated or are you being sent home to die?
This is truly scary and nobody is taking it seriously. I want to jump through my phone and strangle people that are on the beach or out with their friends still like they just...that’s the problem, right? And driving to work yesterday we saw a lady that was in her car with a mask on, and it was so nice that she could have a mask but we can’t, and I’m sitting here just trying to stay as healthy as possible and this is what they give us...
(pulls a single mask out of a brown paper lunch bag)
..so this is actual real life in the hospital now; they give you a paper bag and they give you your N-95 mask and this is signed out for the entire year. THIS is what I have to go into patients rooms with, and then this is what at the end of my 12-hour shift I put into this paper bag and bring home with me and I have to bring it to and from work every day. Do you think that that sounds safe? Because we are completely out of resources.
There are no masks. There are no gowns. They’re running low on gloves, because everyone has panicked and stockpiled all of this so that the medical staff doesn’t have it. We cannot stay safe and we cannot care for all these people that are coming in because no one is taking this seriously...and I am being super-transparent: I was one of those people that wasn’t taking it seriously, but I’m here to tell you that you need to.
We are literally making life-and-death decisions for people, and if I’m being super honest, I didn’t choose nursing or the healthcare field to not help people, and that’s exactly what the choices are that they’re giving us. They’re giving us no choice but to help only the people that they think can survive.
Normally, if a patient was to pass away it would be because we tried everything that we could; we did everything we could; we had all the resources and all the people that we needed to help save this patient’s life and it was just their time.
And now...we aren’t giving the patient the time to choose whether it’s their time or not and we’re choosing for them. And I never wanted to go into a career where I wasn’t able to save everyone, and that’s the option that society, and the government, and everyone is giving us, because...that’s it. That’s all we have.
And I’m telling you right now: Please heed my advice and stay home. Stay home with your loved ones; don’t go out. Don’t go to the grocery store. Don’t go through the drive-thrus. Don’t do anything that could put you at risk to have to see me at the end of the tunnel. I’m telling you it’s not worth it, and I don’t know what I can do to save people anymore. And that is something that I’ve never wanted to say in my entire career. So stay home...if you have any extra resources, consider donating them. And to my co-workers and all the people in the healthcare field, environmental services, our police officers and...first responders, just thank you so much for all that you’re doing.
We’re in this together; we’re gonna fight this as hard as we can, and if everyone does their part, I think that we’ll come out victorious, but consider donating supplies if you have them home, and stay home. And if you guys like this, I can certainly continue to do updates from the front line, but...just wish us luck, and stay home; love on your loved ones because I can’t...social isoliation...act like you have it. And, you know, just stay home and we’ll get through this together.
All right...good luck; cheers from the E.R.