Bessemer nurse on the front lines of coronavirus pandemic

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Bessemer, Ala. (WIAT) — Those who have been on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic have deservedly been called heroes.

“It’s heartbreaking to see this,” Bessemer City Councilor Kimberly Alexander said.

Lately, Alexander has taken her councilor hat off and worked as a registered nurse. Something she has done for the past 15 years. She described to CBS 42 the war-like struggles she has faced dealing with the virus.

For the past month, Alexander has been in California helping some of the patients who are now headed home after being quarantined in San Diego. The Grand Princess Cruise Ship was forced to dock in Oakland earlier this month after some crew members and passengers tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I got the patients off the cruise ships and I did have some patients to die,” Alexander said.

As city and state officials urge residents across the country to self-isolate and shelter in place to stop the spread, Alexander and other health care workers juggle their commitment to their patients, the panic from their patients as well as their own anxiety.

“When you look at the X-Rays of the patients with the virus there lungs, some of their lungs with the virus change from day to day,” she said. “It worsens.”​

Alexander said doctors and nurses are briefed on the latest information on COVID-19 before tending to her patients while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still trying to figure out how the virus spreads.

“There is one thing we control: we control the rate of spread,” Don Williamson of the Alabama Hospital Association said. “That’s why social distancing is so important. We control a great deal of what this outbreak is going to look like a month from now.” ​

Meanwhile, Alexander will continue to put her life on the line as she heads to New York Tuesday to help patients.

“Its very devastating to see this virus tearing up and destroying so many lives,” she said. “It is so serious.”​


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