Southeast Texans are playing a dramatic role all around the nation in the heroic fight against COVID19. Especially fighting the BIG Invisible Enemy in the Big Apple.
Bridge City’s Sierra Roberts is one of those American heroes.
New York City, the city that never sleeps, seems to be caught in a never-ending nap. The hum of the bright lights of Broadway, the crack of the bat from Yankee Stadium, the hustle and bustle of the yellow taxis in Time Square are all silenced by the Covid19 virus. What was once the destination for fun, shopping, culture & cuisine for travelers from around the globe, is virtually shut down until further notice.
The hospital ICU’s and Covid19 units have been overflowing and their nurses and doctors have been tirelessly working to heal the sick and comfort the dying for months. New York City is Ground Zero for Covid 19. Medical staffing agencies have begun bringing in nurses from around the country to offer relief for the weary nurses working in the hospitals in and around the city.
After many prayers, Sierra Roberts, 25, of Bridge City, Texas, is one of those nurses who packed her bags and hopped on a plane with a few co-workers to head to The Big Apple to offer relief.
“To say I’m nervous is an understatement, but I find comfort in knowing Who has called me here”, said Sierra. “The healthcare workers have been very welcoming to all of us who have come from all over the US to help. Not only have they lost family and friends, but they have lost many coworkers and still, continue to work every day. They are worn down and continue to do their job to the best of their ability.”
Sierra states that working in New York “is so different from back home in Texas, almost a culture shock.” The one thing that is constant for Sierra is being able to be a “compassionate nurse.” What everyone needs to realize is that when you enter a hospital as a Covid19 patient, you enter alone. “These patients have no family here with them, besides us, not even when they are taking their last breath.”
Sierra sees the toll it has taken on the staff of the hospitals in New York. “It takes a strong person to continue to work despite their world stopping around them.”
The shortage or lack of PPE has been a problem throughout this pandemic in the US. The staffing agency has kept this group of nurses supplied well with the PPE they need. They have received many donations which Sierra said they are putting to good use. All of the nurses in the hotel Sierra is staying have been getting donations from all over the world. “We share these and protect one another. Supplies are slim, but we come together and make do with whatever we have available.”
When Sierra returns in a few weeks, she will be required to quarantine herself at home for 2 weeks before going back to work as a Cath Lab nurse at Baptist Hospital in Beaumont. She wanted to leave everyone with a message. “This is a very real thing, I need people to know that. I too have thought, ‘oh it can’t be as bad as they say on the news’, but it truly is. Yes, things have seemed to have slowed down from about 2 weeks ago, but it doesn’t take away from the situation, currently. I have patients from all ages and backgrounds. You don’t know the true heartbreak in this situation until you lose a family member or friend or have to let an entire family say goodbye to their child through a FaceTime call from your personal phone. It isn’t a game and I hope everyone at home takes it seriously and understands the threat of this virus.”
As Texas slowly begins to reopen our economy, remember Sierra’s message and continue to use safe practices of social distancing and hand washing. As our president has said, “We can’t let the cure be worse than the problem itself,” but we must use caution.