A Chicago nurse and immunology and infection expert is sounding an alarm about covid-19 in Illinois and nationwide and offering a first-person look at what’s really going on in hospitals.
Jenny King is a Legal nurse consultant at AALNC – American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants, Public Health/ER Registered Nurse at
Illinois Nurses Association and Administrator at COVID19 Coalition for HealthCare Workers.
She studied Immunology and Infection at CDC Global and studied Covid-19 Dynamics & Clinical Surveillance at
Johns Hopkins University.
King posted the following first-person account on her Facebook page, and offered it to us at QuadCities.com to publish on our site to help get the word out about what’s happening and “hopefully get people to take this more seriously.”
The following is her first-person account of what’s going on in Illinois and nationwide:
I wish everyone could see what’s going on in the hospitals. I wish that everyone knew what was actually happening, and not what they THINK is happening. There are many things not being reported, many cover-ups, many things being kept quiet. It’s beyond comprehension. I still cannot believe this is actually happening.
We have dwindling beds, and not enough staff to man the ones we have. It’s not just about beds. You need the specially trained staff as well. It’s not just Doctors and Nurses, it’s Respiratory Therapists and Radiology Techs. It’s much more than what the general public realizes.
I wish someone who doesn’t think wearing a mask is necessary could see the patients in ICU fighting to breathe. I wish they could see the 40 year-old marathon runner in perfect health, who is now struggling to breathe when he sits up.
I wish people who think nothing of going out to bars, restaurants, family/friend gatherings, etc., could see the entire family of four now on ventilators because they just HAD to go to their family member’s house for Thanksgiving. They were outside, so they were safe, right? WRONG. Only one of them has high blood pressure, and they are age ranges 38-62. The rest have no health conditions, and they’re all on ventilators.
But the public won’t see any of this because of HIPAA laws. The public won’t see any of this because it’s too traumatizing. They will continue to act like this pandemic doesn’t pertain to them, or they can’t be bothered by staying home or wearing a mask…..because they “did their research”. What a completely obtuse, insensitive, and self-absorbed way to behave. I can’t imagine being that kind of person, and actually being proud of it.
The next 6-8 weeks will be the darkest time in Public Health that we have seen since 1918. The morgue trucks have been assigned to the regional triage centers. ICUs are becoming the bottleneck because we’re getting better at keeping people alive longer, but guess what that does? It backs up our ICUs. When we don’t have enough ICU beds and/or not enough staff to man them, we enact Mass Casualty Triage protocols. Many places are already using them. If you’re 80 or older, you’re not going to get that ICU bed. The 50 year old will. Are you okay with having your 80 year old mother or grandmother being excluded for life saving intervention? Because that’s exactly what will happen.
We have ER and ICU doctors literally begging officials to shut things down, and NOBODY IS LISTENING. We have people going out to places they don’t need to be, not wearing masks, acting like nothing is happening, and proudly posting their maskless faces on social media. People boasting about how they had it, and it “wasn’t that bad”. Well, good for you. Tell that to the family that just lost their 60 year old dad or their 30 year old sister.
Everyday, I think to myself…….this is it. I’m going to leave healthcare for good. Somehow, I hang on. I start the chapter for the next course I’m taking, and study more. I keep going because I hope I can make some small difference.
If you can’t understand why healthcare workers are so angry with those who refuse to do the things it takes to help get this under control, you need to do some serious self-reflection. If you don’t like me or have unfriended me because I’ve called people out on their horrible behavior, you’ve lost sight of the most important things. If you wonder why you don’t hear from some of your friends anymore, take a look at what you’re doing and maybe you’ll finally get it.
When this is all over, there will be rejoicing for many. But for others, there will be lingering effects of PTSD, sleepless nights, painful reminders of how some of our friends didn’t care enough about what we went through or what patients went through, recollections of how some of us in healthcare were threatened, mocked, and ridiculed. It’s divided many of us forever, without a doubt. But it has also brought tremendous clarity about who we should keep in our lives.
I’m thankful for the ones who are still here with me…..the ones who know my heart, my soul, my character, and don’t focus on petty things such as when I call people “idiots” or “selfish” when they choose to deny science and put others in harm’s way. Yes, I do that. Too bad if you don’t like it. When you act like like a crappy human being, I’m going to say it. If you get mad about that, and that’s what you focus on……bye-bye, and good luck to you.
I care about people who care about others’ health and well-being, above anything else. I have enough understanding to know that when people express anger over people who deny science, spread lies and misinformation, refuse to adhere to health and safety guidelines, and HARM others, they’re perfectly justified in what they say.
Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.
QuadCities.com is a locally operated directory and information guide for the Quad Cities area in Illinois and Iowa.
Discover the best of Quad Cities shopping, restaurants, night life, breweries, events, business, outdoors, fun, local life, real estate, transportation, jobs, and schools.
Looking for what to do in the Quad Cities? QuadCities.com has columnists, and bloggers to keep you up to date on the best of the Quad Cities.