BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Healthcare workers have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic for more than a year and a half, and nurses in Birmingham are experiencing the health crisis first hand.
“There’s just nothing like walking into work and seeing what we see, and then being anywhere out in public- I’m more scared to be out in public now than I was last year at this time,” said Jake Perkins, Medical Intensive Care Unit Nurse at UAB Hospital.
On Friday, UAB reported that they are caring for over 190 COVID-19 patients; 36 of whom are vaccinated while the remained 157 are not.
“A lot of these people have not been conscious in a few weeks. Some as soon as they are conscious again are asking for family and loved ones or asking for the vaccine and all we can really do is put a camera in front of you and, hopefully, you can talk to some of your loved ones,” said Perkins.
Down the road, Children’s of Alabama is treating 16 COVID-19 patients with reportedly fewer than of 5 patients those on ventilators.
“There has definitely been a surge with the delta variant, which we’re still learning a lot about. It seems like it is affecting children differently than what we dealt with at the beginning of the pandemic and really in most recent months,” said Melody Read, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Nurse at Children’s of Alabama.
As healthcare workers witness such suffering, they’re pleading with the public to mask up and get vaccinated.
“Be safe; be smart; any questions or concerns you have about COVID-19 reach out to your health care provider, and they can best direct you on what direction you need to go when it comes to your child,” said Read.
Health care workers also say they are looking forward to the approval of a booster shot to help fight the virus, especially heading into winter and fall.