Bridget Otto, a nurse in Iowa City, Iowa, has been caring for Covid-19 patients since March. When her own father got sick at the end of September and spent weeks in the ICU, the pandemic became even more personal.
told CNN affiliate KCCI. “And it’s just a result of being on a ventilator for four weeks, sedated and paralyzed and not moving.”
Now, he’s still on oxygen support, but he’s recovering steadily, Otto said. But that’s not the case for all of her patients.
“I just want people to know that there is a real, true suffering out there and it is a direct result of this virus,” Otto said. “It’s not ‘if’ you’ll be affected someday, it’s ‘when.'”
in almost every state, some people are not
taking the virus seriously. But Otto said she and other nurses see the damage the virus causes in the ICU every day.
“A lot of people don’t see what we see, or don’t believe it,” she said. “We don’t really have a choice to believe it or not in our ICU since we see it.”
And as many Americans gear up for holiday travel — against the recommendations of many public health experts — she said she’s staying home this year.
“I don’t want to miss out on holidays either,” Otto said, “but I’m going to. It’s the right thing to do.”
250,000 people in the US have been killed by Covid-19, and experts say it’s only going to get worse, especially as the holiday season approaches.