Doctors and nurses from New York and Utah fought COVID-19 together last year. How are they feeling now?

Health care workers from Utah’s Intermountain Healthcare traveled to New York City to give some needed relief to the medical staffs at New York-area hospitals in the spring of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic patient numbers were at one of their highest.

Health care workers from Utah’s Intermountain Healthcare traveled to New York City to give some needed relief to the medical staffs at New York-area hospitals in the spring of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic patient numbers were at one of their highest. | Intermountain Healthcare

A year after a group of Utah doctors and nurses answered the call for help from New York City hospitals, then the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines are offering hope that the worst of the battle against the deadly virus is behind them, but there are still concerns as the country moves toward fully reopening.

“I think we were all looking for a miracle. We were all hoping for something to come save us from this pandemic. That is certainly how I felt when I was in New York,” Whitney Hilton, an Intermountain Healthcare intensive care unit nurse, said during a virtual reunion Friday. “The vaccine, to me, is that miracle.”

For Madison Montague, a cardiothoracic ICU Nurse at Northwell Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, choosing optimism versus trepidation a day after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city will “fully reopen” for business on July 1 is a “tricky question.”

But Montague, who worked side by side with Utahns to care for COVID-19 patients, first in New York City in April 2020 and again several months later in Salt Lake area hospitals as part of a New York team that traveled to Utah as cases surged, also is putting her faith in the vaccine.

“This was a really horrible time filled with things that we never thought would happen, so it’s hard for me to totally say, ‘Yeah, I think we’re on the up and up and I’m ready to move on.’ But that being said, for the first time in a very long time, I am feeling hopeful. Our vaccinated numbers are going up,” she said.

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Intermountain Healthcare
Health care workers from Utah’s Intermountain Healthcare traveled to New York City to give some needed relief to the medical staffs at New York-area hospitals in the spring of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic patient numbers were at one of their highest.

“I’m hopeful and I’m looking forward cautiously,” Montague said, especially since her parents just received their final dose of COVID-19 vaccine. “I think that as long as we continue to really care for each other as humans and do what’s best for everyone, things will keep getting better.”

This time last year, there was little reason to believe that could happen.

New York City was hit harder than any place in the world in the early days of the pandemic, with nearly 300,000 virus cases and more than 18,000 dead by the end of April 2020. The toll overwhelmed city morgues, and bodies had to be stored in refrigerated trucks, often parked outside hospitals.

Utah has had a total of just under 400,000 COVID-19 cases to date since the start of the pandemic more …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

      

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