Area nurse makes impassioned plea for continued social distancing
Spent three weeks treating COVID patients in NYC intensive care unit
NORTHWEST WISCONSIN - An area nurse who answered a call for more nurses and who spent the last three weeks working in a Brooklyn Intensive Care Unit made an impassioned plea via a 3-minute YouTube video to keep social distancing measures in place until “robust testing” measures can take place.
Elizabeth Riley recently returned to Hayward, Wisconsin home, emotionally impacted by her experiences in treating COVID-19 victims.
She said she realizes many people in rural Wisconsin feel they are safer than those living in coronavirus hot spots like New York City.
“That’s great - it helps us have a natural kind of buffer because we’re spread apart by geography but if we start allowing people to congregate when and where they want, especially when summer months come up and our beaches are more crowded and things like that - the disease will take hold.”
She said as long as we don’t have “robust testing” we won’t know where the disease is.
“The virus doesn’t see whether you are a Democrat or Republican or what color your skin is - it fins you and embeds itself and then it will go from you to everybody who disclose to you - your family and friends.
Riley said she didn’t want to sound like an alarmist but said what she saw in the ICU at Brooklyn’s Woodhull Medical Center is something she could hardly put to words, but she did attempt to convey the horror of what she experienced.
“People in an ICU with COVID don’t slip peacefully away with their family members at their side - they are alone. They are alone and they code and they pound on their chest and its noisy and it’s awful and that’s how people die with this disease.”
She added, “You cannot lift this stay-at-home order. If you do you’re not just signing a potential death warrant for yourself but for your children and grandchildren.”
Riley was one of six health care professionals who made video statements on Friday, April 24, “to counteract the disinformation being spread through social media and irresponsible national media outlets to mobilize opposition to social distancing.”The video links are in a story “Health care professionals speak out” on the leaderregister.com website, under COVID-19 stories.
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