Tammy’s Home From New York ….. Coronavirus…..Thanks To All

Tammy came home over the weekend. She had signed up for another week, but it wasn’t meant to be. I won’t deny she had me worried, but she is fine. On her 20th day, she scheduled It off. She hoped that she would rest and recoup for the next week. When I talked with her that morning, I knew she was exhausted and so tired. I had noticed in the last week she was getting more quite. I was already uneasy. Late that afternoon, she text and said she was leaving. She had a car scheduled in an hour and she was driving home. I wanted her to fly, but it wasn’t going to happen. She want to get out now……She needed to drive, and have alone time….I was getting more worried. I really didn’t want her to leave that late from New York City, a city she had never driven in. But everyone who knows Tammy knows she loves to drive. I think that is where she gets her peace and alone time. She can drive straight through from Illinois to Harlingen Texas, (near Mexico Border) in 22 hours…..Crazy Driver…..I decided to text Katherine, her best friend at home. She is a Nurse at IVCH in Peru. If she would contact anyone else, it would be her. Yes, they had already been talking. As she left New York City, she called and I could tell she was already feeling better. The weight was lifting.….Katherine sent me texts all evening and night. Then I was up at 5 to make sure she got home…..What a Saturday it was….Yes, she pulled in Sunday by noon…..THANK YOU KATHERINE for helping me keep my sanity through the night…. here is her story in her words….


Tammy Bergen
22 hrs ·

I am gonna start this off by saying today is day 22! And the 1st day in 21 days that I have woke up in my own bed! I have missed my family and my friends so much! I might even say that i have missed Illinois!
New York was a beast! I have seen thing and did things that i have never dreamed of. And I met so many so many great nurses, APN’s and Drs! They were from all across the United States! The staff was very welcoming as well. They would have lunch donated at times. My last day they had breakfast donated and brought in to us! And REAL coffee! 😍 lol
while I was there I worked on 9 different units. I worked a couple of units more than once but for the most part everyday was like starting a brand new job. Everything was always new. The staff, the nurses I worked with, what supplies were available, what type of patients there were. Every unit was like opening a door to the twilight zone. You never know what is gonna be there. And the attitude was strong and everywhere! That is the best way I can describe it. It was not easy for me to go on every day with 5-6 hours of sleep mixed with the constant change. I was never able to develop “a work rhythm”? I’m not sure if that’s the word I am looking for but… And As many of you know, I have struggled with depression my whole life. And I ended up finding myself in a very very low spot. Around day 15 I started to cry everyday and I think day 19 I almost cried all day! (Fyi it’s very hard to tell if someone is crying when they are wearing all this head gear!) It was sooo hard. Even though we were there to help and shine some light into the darkness that is going on in New York right now, I lost control of myself and the darkness crept inside me... On the 20th I had the day off. They allowed us to have 2 pto days in this 21 day contract. My plan was to destress as much as possible and trudge through work one more time… and then cancel my 1 week extension and go home! But by the end of day 20 all I could think about was getting out of this cold dark place that I had found myself in. So rented a car and got the hell outta there at 7pm! It was truly one of the best things that I have ever done for myself. As I began driving away from NYC I could truly feel the heaviness of it all leave my body… and I could smile! A real smile! I talked to my mom and my best friend Katherine almost all the way home. I even had Cassidy on the phone for an hour and an half! And we had a great conversation! I was excited to surprise Cameron at the house so I never told him I was coming! Lol And I thank god my family and my friends are here for me everyday! A part of me is very ashamed or dissatisfied in myself for leaving a day early. But not any more. I am so proud that I was able to help in such a terrible situation! I have learned many things about myself through this experience. I will never regret it! But I don’t think I want to go back to NYC... ever! Lol thank you to everyone that sent us stuff! You guys really really really helped me personally!! And we shared with many others as well! I will never forget this experience! Aunt Connie told me that I would not be able to come back from this the same person. At the time I didn’t think to much about it. But…. she is so very right... not always! But this time! Lol I am just so happy to be home!❤❤❤
ps. Britt Novak is still rockin it in NYC! You got this girl!







Tammy is now home and doing well. Now she has 2 weeks of quarantine before she can return to work. I know she has missed the kids tremendously. She has come back a changed person in so many ways…..She has learned a lot about herself and will be stronger for it. She will never forget the patients, nurses, doctors, and all the experiences of New York….She has accomplished something not many of us could or would ever undertake. But she is a Nurse…..She took that Oath….She Believes in what she does….


….She is an Amazing Nurse….

Now it is time for all the …..THANK YOU’S…. Her days were so busy. 14 hours of the day were work and transportation. That didn’t leave much time for eating, sleeping, waiting for your mail for 45 min. and of course a through shower and disinfecting. She became more physically and mentally exhausted every day. So she didn’t have a lot of time to show her appreciation. The one Company that needs a HUGE THANK YOU is Vactor Manufacturing from Streator Illinois…..


Tammy mentioned to us she could use some Safety Glasses. Aunt Connies’, Son in Law, Matt Rinaldo works for Vactor in Streator Illinois. He went to HR to ask about Safety Glasses for the girls. By noon, he had been given around 50 Safety Glasses. HR also game him many FACE SHIELDS. Their parent Company Federal Signal had sent them to their employees. The employees had decided to give them to the Front Line people in the Medical Field that needed them. They had already given a number of them to Morris Hospital. Matt brought them to Connie who boxed them up and sent them to the girls.


They were so needed. As soon as she received them they were gone. So not many pictures were taken. I had been reading posts on the FB site of the Staffing Agency from the other nurses. Those who had connections, were ordering them in quantity’s for their friends. The hospitals didn’t have any. They were pretty desperate to get them. These Shields were so Appreciated. So …..THANK YOU VACTOR…. also Matt and Connie for sending them to New York…..


Face Shields and Safety Glasses from Vactor….Overlooking the Times Square… NYC

So many other items were sent. So here in Tammy’s words again are all her Thank You’s

Tammy Bergen
15 hrs ·

There are so many people I need to thank besides my family that have donated their time to make sure that we have what we needed! I want to make as many as I can but please dont be upset if I forget to mention anyone because you all made this so much easier!
1. Vactor Manufacturing in Streator Il donated a box full of safety glasses and face shield! ❤❤❤!! They are in very high demand in New York! And as soon as people seen them… they were gone! The hospitals no longer supply face shield because they are just not available anymore. I wish I could have got more pictures but there just wasn’t time. But I assure you that they were amazing! Thank you Connie Malavolti, Ashley Malavolti and Mat Rinaldo for the hook up! It was definitely needed! The shields protect us from much more than the glasses alone cuz there is a lot of coughing and spraying going on!
2. Amanda Davis for the goodies and the wonderful prayer that came with! It was very special!
3. Chauntelle Biagi-Bruer for the goodies and kind words!
4. Aunt Connie and Jeanie Lutz for getting several hand made masks for me to take at the very last minute!❤ and thank you Connie for the bag of super healing rocks! I wore them everyday!
5. Tammy Schlesinger Gunter for all the goodies and kind words!
6. Baily Jane and Betty Parks for the awesome lotions and cookies! ❤
7. Jeny Orozco for the amazing words of encouragement and all the awesome gifts!
8. Tiffany Gebhardt for the awesome gifts and kinds words!
9. Mary Jaegle Milashoski for the awesome gift of dry shampoo! (it seriously made Britt Novak’s day!)and the other goodies as well!❤❤
10. Jessica Torres for all the amazing goodies and encouragement!
11. Frances Ilnicky Van Ameyden thank you for the goodies and the great conversation that definitely brought a smile to my face!
12. Tina M Wenzel for the gifts and (over the top!) Encouragement! I am so very thankful!
13. Brenda Bickerman thank you for delivering the lysol wipes to my house before I left! I could not find any anywhere!
14. Gale Reno for the bag of snacks, gloves, mask crochet ties and other things that you sent at the last moment.
15. Nicole Bouxsien and family made several masks for us to take with.
16. The Eastgate Quilter ladies for making all the masks and redoing the design to include the laces to save our ears!❤
17. Theresa Fisher for the crocheted ear savers!
18. Bobbi Van Schaick for the box of goodies! That came along with a great story! Definitely something that I would have done! Lol
19. Sharon VanLanduit for the amazing shoe inserts! They helped soooo much!
And lastly, Katherine Twardowski for taking care of my 2 older babies while I was gone! (I really hope you will recover quickly! Lol). Tina Bergen Dolder and Ed Dolder for being everything for Carly while I cant! And for all the school teaching! And Margaret Bergen for the daily encouragement and text messages! Scottieonepaw ScottBergen and Brandy Lockett for all the love and support!
And there has been so many others who have said some of the best things! I will never forget!
Cameron Bergen and Cassy Cruz I am home! And I love you both so much! We WILL be spending some quality time together real soon! Like it or not! Lol
I truly can not say how thankful I am to have you all in my life! I have the best family and friends that anyone could ever ask for!❤❤❤
I am feel very blessed to have been a part of NYC at this time of need. But this Is definitely my home! ❤❤❤


Jeny Orozco Love you Tammy!!! ❤️❤️❤️

Betty Parks Thank you for giving your ALL.

Tiffany Gebhardt Np Tammy Bergen…just my way of saying thanks for what U guys went and did! U went above and beyond what u had too! Hope to see u back around soon until then take care of urself and know u got friends who care! ❤️

Tina Bergen Dolder A shout out to Brenda Holloway Bickerman, Jerimey Bouxsein Nicole and family, Gale Reno ( Erin Marie Megan Holly let your mom know!!

Megan Dose Glad your back!!! 😘❤️❤️❤️

Bobbi Van Schaick The least I can do

Mary Jaegle Milashoski So happy that what we could do for you .. made a difference and brightened your day ..!💜💜

Amanda Davis 💜💜💜💜💜

Frances Ilnicky Van Ameyden Your selflessness in this horrible time of Covid19 has shown us what Love of Neighbor is all about. God bless you!

Jeanette Brewer Stay safe and you r a hero
Stay safe






Thank You to All who has supported and followed Tammy. I as MOM want to give a SPECIAL THANK YOU, to Tina, for being the BEST SISTER Tammy could ever have. She has done so much that you all will never know. She was their from the minute Tammy made this descion to go, by getting supplies ready and MANY MANY other things concerning Carly’s care. My Kids are all so AWESOME….Brittney is still their finishing her extended week. She is doing ok. Everyone has been so supportive of the girls and of all the Medical Personnel. These people are helping and reporting the truths of what is happening in New York City. They have answered the call not knowing where they were going to work, where they were going to stay. They all knew they were putting their life on the line…..But they all went anyway…..They worked 12 hours straight covered in PPE. So many had shortages of PPE, and much hospital supplies. Some of the story’s I read were mindboggling to think nurses had to operate in such a manner and do things that were so unethical in the hospital setting. And then the stories of the patients. So heart wrenching……So many that passed alone….With only the nurse present….The last words from the family’s on the cell phones of the Nurses….

…..Memories these Medical Personnel Will Never Forget….

Part 3…..Carrie in New York….Tammy’s Friend…..Coronavirus

This is the 3rd and last of Carries Story.  As I write this she is now home, happily in the arms of her loving family beginning her 2 week quarantine.  She has allowed me to put her story in my blog, hoping to spread the story of the truths of Coronavirus and New York City.  Some people believe, some people don’t, some people are indifferent.  Unless you are around the misery and the devastation that it is causing to human life and family’s, it is hard to imagine.  So far their is no vaccine.  Hopefully their will be one soon.  But for now we are all in SHELTER IN PLACE……The goal is to slow the curve.  Bring it down…..Slow the disease so we don’t all end up like New York City..….They have been brought to their knees…….Listen to Mayor Cuomo….Listen to the doctors and nurses or any medical staff……….Theses are the truthswp-15880095799398936151978512376002.jpg

April 20 at 5:46 AM ·

When I came here I never thought I’d be riding this bus to the hospital a 22nd time. I decided over the weekend to stay longer. They wanted a two week minimum commitment, but we will see, the urge to fly home is strong.
Someone jumped off of our hotel a few days ago. I can’t get the image out of my head, or the sound. I don’t know why THATS what I can’t reconcile, with all I’ve absorbed since arriving in New York. Maybe because all day every day I see these people fighting to breathe, fighting to get high fevers down, fighting to live.. and then, this death was deliberate. Right off our hotel. A hotel full of people who are here to save lives.mgn_1280x960_00121c00-xryah (2)

April 20 at 8:37 AM ·

Any channel we turn on is covering corona, New York City, and who’s dying from it. You know what they’re not covering?..and won’t?..who’s dying from it in prison. Why do we care, they’re just criminals right?
It’s all we can do to provide masks and medical attention to law abiding people who aren’t incarcerated. They’re child molesters and murderers, thieves…that’s what we think when we hear the word prison, because prison is for the real bad ones. Ya, I get that, because I used to think that way too. Until, in the blink of an eye, someone I loved was in prison. We are taught prison is reserved for the hopeless, the waste of time, or those unable to repent.
But it’s not. There are first offenders, and marijuana sellers in our prisons, sentenced to decades. Some of you may wonder how that is even possible in our country of all men created equal, and innocent until proven guilty. Because it’s not like that, that’s how. The sentence you receive in this United States of America is a direct reflection of what legal representation you can afford.
Bad people? No… but bad choices. They are good souls, who had to learn some lessons the hardest way, young men who are funny, generous, with big hearts. They have dreams and fears and insecurities just like we do. Their need for acceptance, or sometimes success, was so strong that they paid for it with their freedom. They made mistakes, granted big ones, and they know it. They’re well into their sentences, just like hundreds- thousands- like them. They’re not asking for an easy out or a pardon, but how about SOAP? How about not bringing known covid positive patients who are actively sick, with a fever and cough, back into the open style housing with all other men. How about feeding them, having running water for them, and allowing them access to medical screenings. They aren’t demanding rights- they’re begging for HUMANITY. They are literally sitting there waiting to die. If conditions do not change, it will be inevitable that every single man or woman incarcerated with be covid positive, and it’s a roll of the dice if they survive it. Because nothing they can do to prevent it is in their power.
They can’t choose whether or not to go outside. They can’t choose whether or not to wear a mask, or social distance.
I do not think every crime is the same, and Im not asking you to either. But which of those truly deserve death as a punishment is not for us to decide, but only God.
They may not deserve their freedom back, but do they deserve to DIE?


April 22 at 9:30 PM ·

It’s been days since I’ve posted and they’ve all been a blur. One day flows into the next, and the next, when all you do is work and sleep. Yesterday I booked my flight home and my heart is full of happiness and anxiousness. No conflict, no guilt. It can’t come soon enough.
More and more moms are covid positive– actually tipping the scales, more positive than negative now. And as time goes on, more and more frequently, on top of these depleting, never-ending, 14 hour days that break your heart and stress your body…I am contacted regularly by friends, acquaintances, and even coworkers..questioning the validity of what they see on tv, they want to know if the hospitals are empty.. or if the virus is even real. If I see one more post of “do any of my friends actually know someone who’s died of Covid”…NO?! CONSIDER YOURSELF LUCKY. You will.
There’s no way the media can report anything accurately- it’s all changing too fast. First only testing the symptomatic, then testing everyone, then throw positive antibodies in there. Will we ever have the real numbers…no.
We hear Fight Song overhead, and that tells us people are recovering-today only twice-but there are still more codes than songs played overhead. There are limited supplies at times, basics like IV pumps and shoe covers for the OR. There’s still a constant flow of bodies visible out that back window, and nurses are doing things that cause genuine ethical conflict because there isn’t a choice. So if you still think corona isn’t real and is just the government trying to scare us—turn off your fn tv and come spend a day in New York.
I’ve counted days for so long..but now it’s a countdown instead of up. Three days ♥️



April 23 at 9:46 AM ·

And there will be goodbye pics … starting now. It’s gonna take some getting used to not starting the day and ending the day with these girls..


April 23 at 10:48 AM ·

Thank you for treating me like a life long friend not a traveler.



April 23 at 1:45 PM ·

😩💔 goodbye cake from the labor and delivery managers. Cue the tears.



April 23 at 6:15 PM ·

Friendships forged in fire. Thank you both for being who you are, and scattering this experience with laughs and well timed hugs.wp-15880088478873245355909135194392.jpg


April 24 at 10:23 PM ·

Today was my 28th day working in New York City, and my last. I never imagined that I would come here and form the relationships, the bonds, that I have with these nurses Ive worked side-by-side with for so many days in a row.  I came to New York prepared to have thick skin, but it wasn’t necessary.
The things I have learned in the past month can’t be put into words on a Facebook page. The faces that I won’t forget, the heartbreak of all the deaths, and the celebration with every discharge home.
I’ve traveled a lot in my life, but going home has never felt so good. I am a different person than I was before March 27th when I came to New York, and Im thankful for that.
CarrieAnn Munson 
April 25 at 8:48 AM ·wp-15880084904811468031293464226045.jpg



April 25 at 8:48 AM ·

Goodbye New York ❤️wp-15880095200635519326640009480962.jpg


Carrie is now home after 28 days.  I know New York appreciates all she’s done.  All the medical workers that have come in from around the country have felt the love of the New Yorkers.  Their marquis’s were full of “Thank You’s”  The NYFD and NYPD showed them how much they cared.  So much love was given the workers.  Many have made life long friends.  They also have many memories that will be hard to process.  The cruelty that this disease has bestowed on family’s has been devastating.  Hopefully in time  New York City will be back to a hustling and bustling city it once was……

But The Memories and the Sorrow will never be forgotten….

“Thank You Carrie”


Day 18….Tammy and Brittney…New York……Coronavirus

Sunday will be Day 21 for Tammy and Brittney.  I found out last nite they have extended for another week.  That doesn’t surprise me.  I know they are extremely exhausted and tired but they are so driven by their need to want to help.  Everything has been going fairly ok for them.  When they get back to the hotel at nite they are so tired.  They aren’t getting enough sleep, and I’m sure they aren’t eating right either.  I don’t hear from Brittney much, as her and Tammy have never worked in the same unit, but she is doing OK.  For some reason they move the nurses everyday to another department.  Maybe its so they don’t feel ties to the patients?  Its just my guess.  Some floors are better than others, but their is still a shortage of supplies.  Tammy told me she had a bad day the other day.  She finally told me she had been pretty upset and emotional.  The other regular staff nurses were rude, and unfriendly.  Every time she turned her back or left her cart, her supplies would disappear for a patient.  I guess when things are in short supply, other nurses just take whatever they need when they see it, because their patient needs it.  Then her patient would go without.  Of course she was the new kid on the block.   Later she found out why……That day was the funeral for a fellow nurse that had caught the virus.    She was a good friend of many of them.  So one can understand why they acted that way.  It has to be terrifying.  This is happening over and over in the hospitals.   So many in the medical field have given their lives trying to help the sick.  This is why they call this the ……FRONT LINES…..A couple of days ago, she took a day off.  She called it a ……MENTAL DAY….She slept in till 8:30am.  Her 4 other friends from OSF in Peoria where now their.  wp-15876901018368613566280702116316.jpg



Their hotel is the Sheraton, several blocks away. They were still waiting for assignments. They all met that afternoon and went for a walk to Central Park.  It sure is a beautiful place right in the middle of New York City.





Tammy with the red bandana

They all received their assignments the next day.  Two are on days at Jacobi, one at Coney Island and 1 on nights at Lincoln.  She is still getting packages.  Yesterday she got some great stuff from a good friend in our park.


Very much needed lotion.  Their hands are so raw and cracked from all the hand washing all the time.  And some wonderful snacks….


Yesterday Tammy was pulled off the floor.  Her team lead had her help a nurse who was having a lot of problems and was overwhelmed.  That made her feel so good.  Her lead said she would be using her again when needed.  She ended her day feeling good.  The counts in New York City are still going up…147,297  confirmed…..2,995  new cases yesterday…15,074  deaths…..but it is slowing down.  Now the President is wanting to open up the Country.  Protests are beginning.  People think their freedom has been taken away.  They want to go back to work.  They don’t feel the virus is that bad.  Its no worse than the flu…..They think its a hoax…..The government wants the economy and unemployment to improve.  Of Course, we all do.  But many counts are still going up.  They haven’t slowed down enough.  They are going to have to be so careful.  I feel the  Virus will start to escalate again.  But that’s my feeling.  Hopefully they don’t…..As of today in the Valley we have 651 cases, and 20 deaths.  In Cameron Co, we have 344 cases with 14 deaths.  We are still going up, but many of those are from 2 nursing homes.

Around the country, many of the meat packing facility’s are becoming hot spots for employees.  JBS, Smithfield, and Tyson Foods are closing many of their plants due to many employees testing positive.  So what will happen to our meat prices now.  Thankfully our freezers are full right.  The city’s are starting to organize food giveaways for families. c4635210-5a2d-430d-9dcc-0b4d0619182f_1920x1080.jpg

This is Houston.  The cars are lined up for miles waiting to participate in the Food drive.  Here in Harlingen we have the Food Pantry, and Loaves and Fishes that help feed the low income and homeless.  The City of Harlingen has united with the RGV Food Bank has organized a food giveaway and have scheduled 2 more.  The cars were lined up 2 hours early for several miles to wait for their free food.   In Harlingen we are still under SHELTER IN PLACE till May 4.  Wear those face masks in public.  No kids in cars or in stores under 14.  But they are starting to loosen the rules.  Retail sale non essential stores are opening up with curbside, phone or internet sales.  State Parks are also opening with Social distancing and masks.  Hopefully this doesn’t backfire. 

Meanwhile in Granville…..School Lessons Continue…..



Carly is going to School on the Computer with Zoom…..Amazing to me…



PE on Zoom…..I guess that works….I’m sure 3 of them together makes PE easier….But knowing those 3, I bet they are rolling in laughter….



This has to be difficult for Austin.  He doesn’t sit still to well.  Poor Tina, conducting school with 3 different lesson plans.  That has to be very hard.  At least their not into Algebra or any of the harder subjects…..I don’t envy the parents these days.  They now have to be wives, mothers, and now teachers, 24 hrs a day. wp-15876902952341077615794487140857.jpg

It does look like an end in sight for New York City…..Tammy said theirs no new Nurses coming from their Staffing Agency that she knows of.  Lets hope that is true for everyone…..Hopefully in the next several weeks, all of the Medical Staff from around the country will be back home….and HEALTHY…..Hoping the City can take back their Hospitals and function in the manner they all were trained to do and want to do.

Our Wonderful Eastgate Ladies….

Our Park in Harlingen, EASTGATE RV & MH PARK is such a wonderful park.  We are all like family.  We may squabble like children, but when it comes down to it, we all take care of one another in need.wp-15874273970853319737609794760507.jpg

Several weeks ago one of our residents came home from the hospital, and our ladies formed a group called Mercy Meals.  Everyone took a day to bring her a meal, Someone walked her dog Cloe, and did her shopping.  These are things that are done many times through the years.  …..Neighbors helping Neighbors.….The men help each other with projects and make sure the single residents needs are fulfilled.  Since the Coronavirus arrived, we have had the Shelter in Place Rule, this has been the best place to be.  We can still walk, visit from the driveways but still maintain our distance.  Now we have the new rule ……


Alice, Jo (Cookie), Delores, Gloria, Cindy, Jean….Absent…Barbara, Sandra, and Sandy

THE COUNTY REQUIRES MASKS WORN IN THE PUBLIC.  No more than 2 people in the car, if so, you must both wear masks.  No Children under 14 in the car or in public, unless its an essential reason.  So again, residents are making sure everyone has their grocery’s.  These wonderful ladies are part of a Quilt group.  So How did this all begin…Gloria’s Daughter and family live in Harlingen.  She called her mom one day and was worried about them and all the people in Eastgate.   She wanted her mom to try to make some masks.  Well that’s all it took and this little group unfolded and started making masks.  Gloria did a lot of research on U Tube, and they found the pattern they wanted.  They started making them and offering them to park residents.  Before you know it, everyone was wanting one.  The ladies started an Assembly lineCindy uses the pattern to cut the material.  The Masks have an outer and an inside lining .  Then it goes house to house as each step progresses, including inserting a small pipe cleaner in the nose area, so it can be fitted around the nose.  wp-15874139638868783632664697250740.jpg

The last person to receive it is Jean.  She takes old T-shirts and cuts 1″ pieces around the body of the shirt.  Then when you stretch them out, they are a perfect tie string.


It is then threaded through the channels on each end of the mask so that it can be tied behind the head.  All of the material has been from their stashes or donated.  Some people like elastic instead.  Now elastic is so hard to find.  I went shopping one day thinking I would buy them some elastic.  Walmart has no elastic, their notions department is cleaned out.  No hand or machine needles.  Its crazy.  Hobby Lobby has closed, so they make do with what they have.wp-15874282036131892365195255905846.jpg

Now Theresa seen this pattern and made these.  They are used with the elastic masks.  They fit on the back of your neck to take the pressure off your ears.  Their so cute and colorful.  They were also given to anyone who wanted them.

The ladies  have been doing this going on 3 weeks.  They have made around 500 so far.  They have given them to anyone in the park who has asked.  I sent 4 to my daughter and friend in New York, another lady asked for one for her cousin who is a Marine.  They ended up giving her 12 to send for the whole unit.  Many people have sent them to family members up north.  Cindy works for the Food Pantry.  They only do drive through now.  They hand them out to anyone in the car who needs one.  They also supply the homeless with all their needs including the masks.  Frank, who also works with Cindy asked for one for his Grandma.  She is a Dallas Cowboy fan.  Cindy managed to find one and gave it to her.  Frank said his Grandma Cried...She was so Happy...Frank also gave 2 to 2 disabled guys he tries to take care of.  They were happy because the nearest store they go in wouldn’t let them in without masks. wp-15874140576892166307840441015875.jpg


Childs size and an Adult

Then they had a Doctors Office contact them.  Quite a few went to them.  Also a Health Care facility in Harlingen ordered 50.  They picked them up and ordered another 50.  While I was with the ladies today, the facility called and said they would be over tonight to pick up the second 50 and they ordered another 150…..OMG….So the ladies will be…. busy busy… this week.  They do not charge anyone.  If you insist, they will take donations.  Aren’t they just amazing.  I know we are all so lucky to be living in Eastgate.  No matter what,  Eastgate is always here to help.


So if anyone local needs a mask, just contact us.  They will supply them.  Just local, no shipping.  It looks like we may all be using them for awhile.  Such strange times we live in…   But ….


Part 2…..Carrie in New York….Tammy’s Friend…..Coronavirus

This will be the 2nd half of Carries journey fighting the Coronavirus in New York City at Jacobi Hospital in the BronxCarrie arrived and started working on March 28, ahead of Tammy.  She is an OB, Labor and Delivery Nurse.  That is usually a very joyful unit.  But can you imagine being in Labor and your lungs are not working anymore?  You can’t catch your breath?  Not only that, the baby is not getting oxygen anymore either.  So so scary to even imagine for those of us who have had childbirth.  So her is the 2nd half of her story, taken from her FB posts.  All entirely in her words…..


Carrie on the Right

April 10 at 6:38 AM ·

THANK YOU Crystal  for my package!!! …we’ve been best friends for so long you’re just a part of me, and that’s why I wasn’t surprised at all that it was full of things only a best friend would know to send. I love u sooo much! Love the books, and wax melts, the food- all of it!
Ps- those green olives!! 🤣😛🙌🏼wp-15873097126653448977866447739456.jpg

April 10 at 8:23 AM ·

Shout out to GO DASH DOT for generously sending these bags to all the L&D nurses here at Jacobi! Thank you for thinking of us during this time, it makes our job a little easier!wp-15873097287916061254308257198235.jpg

April 10 at 10:48 AM ·

These two, making day FOURTEEN doable .. Janice and Alexa

April 12 at 6:25 AM ·

I haven’t posted the past couple evenings because I’m just drained. The word “tired” doesn’t mean anything to me anymore. We’ve all fallen into and accepted a cycle of bus, work, wait, bus, sleep. And there’s not enough of the sleep in the cycle. Now the company is combining buses so we have to be up and on the bus a half hour earlier. It sounds like a small amount of time, but that’s two hits of the snooze button. It’s precious. I’d completely given up any attempt at doing anything with my face on day 4. You get nothing…..wait, you get eyebrows. That’s all you get. (Thanks Haley )
And for anyone who truly knows me…well..
Friday was my 14th day working in New York. I listen to the fairly regular pace of overhead pages calling codes, all day long and subconsciously count them in my head, always realizing by the end of my shift that I tuned it out at some point and lost count. But Friday there was an overhead code page to a room we knew, and our hearts stopped. Go back and read Day 8..when we sectioned a mom who was counting on God to “get her through it”.
There are more and more covid positive moms on our floor. I am cautious with every patient, but it’s unnerving when you KNOW she’s positive.
I’ve felt more and more a part of this unit, I know their stories and their lives..how much they love this city and how it’s changed their lives in so many more ways than we can imagine. Yesterday I had the first thought that it may be hard to leave them. These are nurses just like us..but they can’t leave..they will be here until the last covid + patient comes thru, and I can’t imagine how long that will take.
Yesterday was Saturday, Day 15, and for the most part it acted like a Saturday. Here’s to hoping today acts like a Sunday.
Remember when our biggest thought on Easter Sunday was if there will be enough table space for everyone, or if we will need to set up card tables? Today I will be in the same building with countless families who just pray their person doesn’t die on Easter. Make Easter as Easter-y as you can for your kids, have the dinners and watch them enjoy their baskets, and get pictures of that egg hunt!… but let’s pray with them.
Thanks everyone♥️

April 13 at 10:27 PM ·

I loved my day off. I only got out of bed to eat…and take a few pictures on the walk to get food with these great gals Shameka, Marlea and Akila



April 14 at 8:45 PM ·

I’m not sure if a day off made it better, or worse, but I know when the alarm went off there were two words in my head and the first one began with f and the second word was “this”.
Day 18 saw me circulating the OR for my covid+ patient, recovering her, trying to reassure and comfort her, while worrying about myself if Im honest..worrying if I’m doing enough to protect myself every time I went in and out of that room. Trying to mEinimize the trips in it at all, and trying to convince myself it wasn’t less ..a lot less…than it would have been for a healthy post-op patient.
My sister has monitored the New York trend of Covid positive cases. I arrived on the 27th. On the 31st there were 66,497 cases in the state. Today there’s 201,208.
I still see the procession of bodies out the windows toward the back side of the hospital. I just tell myself they were all 100 year old’s who lived a full life.
One of the hospitals plays Alicia Keys and Jay Z’s Empire State of Mind overhead every time someone gets extubated, and nurses are saying it’s playing more and more throughout the day.
I don’t know how many babies we had today, but most of the labor rooms were occupied, and still..the unit focuses on births, new life, and holding each other up. Nobody feels sorry for themselves here, there’s no complaining, everyone smiles..as if it’s their sole responsibility keep moral up..the cheerleaders for New York City. And I wonder if every OB unit in the city is like this right now.
Praying really hard for the nurses that are working day in and day out in ICU, ER, med/surg (that are basically ICU’s) with no cheerleaders. I couldn’t do what they do.

April 15 at 8:14 PM ·

Today Jacobi Medical Center started playing “Fight Song” overhead throughout the whole hospital every time a patient is extubated or discharged. I heard it 4 times today. Talk about goosebumps.. tears all over the place🙌🏼♥️

April 16 at 6:20 AM ·

Someday, healthcare workers that aren’t answering you today will need to talk. They are going to tell you about the patients who died without their families. How their co-workers were getting sick all around them. How women gave birth in masks. How they held the hand of their dying patients because no visitors/family are allowed in the hospitals. How terrible it was to fear going to work and then fear going home to their families. How they worked with skeleton staff and heavy gear or no gear and had to make it through every day hoping not to be exposed. Someday, they will need to talk again. They will need you then, but today they just need to go to war with Covid 19. @nurseforest


Yesterday at 6:16 AM ·

Starting out Day 21, I can’t really process what I’ve just done. It’s been so exhausting , I’ll never casually throw around the phrase “I’m so tired” again..it’s been heartbreaking, it’s been terrifying at times, things I’ve seen, heard and done will replay in my mind for many days ahead..and it’s been indescribably rewarding. What I’ve learned about people, and myself, the last 3 weeks has changed me forever.
I’m not sure what decision day 22 will bring, I feel compelled to stay longer- these nurses are my pack now- but my heart is longing for home and normalcy. I know whatever I do, it won’t be my decision I’ll just be following the path He wants me to take because the one thing that’s got me this far is putting God in charge.
Thank you.. to each of you that have posted and messaged me with your kind words, I felt it every day. Thank you to my kids, who have checked on me daily and sent loving silly texts, who still made me feel needed like moms are, it kept me going..and Joshua, who supported me with so much love, and uplifting encouragement when all he really wanted was for me to stay safe at home. I have never loved my people more, and Im going to try to live it, and remember how all this feels when I get home and comfortable.. life is short and none of us know when it’s over, live a life of integrity..forgive quickly and love tenderly.
That’s my takeaway.

So yesterday was Day 21, the last day of Carrie’s contract.  At that time she had to decide if she wanted to stay.  They now have the offer to work 60 hours week by week.  After a day off, she has decided to stay another week.  Even so she is longing for home and her family, she feels a need to stay and help a little longer.

 She is an amazing HERO.….Just like all the other Health Care Workers.  They are giving of themselves, putting their life at risk to help.  Many have also given up their jobs as hospitals won’t give them the time off.  They have answered the call and only had 2 to 3 days to organize their life for 3 weeks, and be in New York ready to work.  They had to leave their spouse or partner, some arranging child care, talk to their present employer, and organize and pack everything needed.  They also have to arrange their own transportation.  They have no idea what or where they will be working till they receive their assignment.  Many have walked into a very chaotic and disorganized hospital short of so many needed supply’s.  It was characterized as “GOING TO WAR”.  Their are no rules.  You do the best you can.  Many times it isn’t possible to save a life for many reasons, but move on to the next one in line.  Ill post a few of Carries pictures on her day off.  Then she will be included in the next posts, along with Tammy, and Brittney.  They are at Marquis Marriot on Times Square, and working at Lincoln Memorial in the Bronx.  They are on Day 15 tomorrow


3 hrs ·

The only taste of sightseeing I’ll have while I’m here..an empty Times Square.



..Please continue to follow all 3 girls while they finish out their stay in New York…

Part 1….Carrie in New York….Tammy’s Friend….Coronavirus

In the beginning of all this, I mentioned Tammy had 2 other nurse friends in New York City. This is one of them. Carrie Ann. She has a Very Special Story to tell. Tammy and Carrie met at Kindred Hospital in Peoria, and then they both worked for awhile at IVCH in Peru Illinois. Carrie is a Travel Nurse and her specialty is OB, Labor and Delivery. Carrie’s Day 1 of 21 started on March 28 2020. She is staying at the New Yorker in Manhattan and working at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx. This is so heart wrenching to read her posts. But she is telling how it is. These are story’s that should be told. Their are some doubters out their that just don’t realize what is truly going on in this world with this virus. The people in the New York City are fighting for survival. We need to know what these nurses and doctors and all personal are going through to help these people daily, …..and you might wonder…. why do they do it?…..It’s because they feel the need to help. They are answering the call that they are trained for….It’s their LOVE OF LIFE AND PEOPLE. So in this blog I will copy the words directly from Carries FB site…..These will all be her words……with her permission…..Preserved for us all….

So Lets Follow her for her 21 days fighting Covid-19 in New York City

CarrieAnn is at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
March 27 at 9:57 AM · Chicago, IL ·

I’ve said it before .. being a nurse isn’t what I do, it’s who I am. It’s not always a choice, it’s a calling, sometimes you don’t even understand it yourself.
So in the words of my little brother, Im going to “bring my ass home”, but for now, let’s do this New York


Jacobi Medical Center

March 28 at 6:39 PM ·

Day 1. Jacobi Medical Center.
I’m overwhelmed and proud to be part of this group of nurses.
Ps didn’t post this morning.

March 28 at 6:52 PM ·

So I’ve decided I’m going to do something I don’t normally do, and I’m going to post about my days while I’m here..as much as I can by the time I make it to the end of the day. And it’s not going to be your average sugar coated filtered Facebook bs, I’m going to be raw and honest about what is happening here. Unfriend me now if you don’t want to know.
Day 1 started with some uncertainty because it’s the first day. No one really knows what they’re doing. A bus shuttles us from the hotel to the hospitals we are assigned to. There was a group of us on our first day so we had a day of hospital orientation before heading to the floors tomorrow. While waiting at the elevators to go up to education the nurse escorting us answered her phone and started crying, asking the person to repeat what they’d just said.. then cried out, and sobbed. She walked away then came back and told us one of their educators just died from corona.
On the bus back to the hotel at the end of Day 1 and I receive a text from a newer nurse, I think she’s been a nurse 4 years, she’s young, a lovely girl, and she was assigned to Elmhurst.
She just got on her bus, and this is what her Day 1 will look like.

Mar 29 at 8:59AM

Day 2 in NYC. I am still at Jacobi Center and I’m in Labor & Delivery where we still have plenty of supplies.

The text from my friend about her first night at a different hospital.

“ER -one nurse taking care of FIVE intubated “sedated” possible positive covid patients. five to one, he was just running around trying to keep a BP going.
they are out of ALL supplies… they’re out of pumps!? they had fentanyl/levo/propofol gtts with no pumps. they were titrating by the roller clamp. maxed out on vent settings, with sats in 70-80s and they were happy with that sat.
patients coding every couple minutes.
it’s a 50 bed ER, and they have over 200 patients in there right now. patients just stacked on top of each other and having to move stretchers around to just reach a patient in the back row.
they made a tent morgue outside of the ER and it’s full already.”

Feeling thankful beyond words for my assignment today, and praying this nurse has peace in her heart and mind this morning when she lays down to sleep. Even just for a few hours. ♥️

March 29 at 9:08PM

Today I got my assignment, and thanked God above my whole walk to the labor and delivery unit.
That group of nurses were so appreciative -so thankful that we’re here to help- I’ve never felt so appreciated walking onto a shift. They took me in as one of their own made me feel welcome and did not miss an opportunity to thank me, all day long.

The TV in the break room runs between ABC NBC CNN and Fox news all day long, trying to keep up with the latest with Covid while managing our patients.

Employees at the hospital were picketing outside the emergency room and I’m not even really sure why… The biggest complaint I hear is about having to use the N95 masks for a week before we can get a new one. They gave out small brown paper bags, like a lunch bag, to store it in.

The labor and delivery unit is dated, and not well laid out. The cabinets are falling off hinges with long mismatched screws holding them on, and there is paint chipping off most of the corners of walls, and along the ceilings. But it doesn’t change the overall feeling of optimism on this unit, and in the midst of everything going on all around us, we had a delivery of a healthy baby girl today.

Every nurse that got on the bus wore her day on her face, some spoke it in words, some look defeated. One cried. We talked about our day.. the good, and the bad, then finished the bus ride back with our acapella rendition of Joe Diffys John Deere Green. RIP Joe


March 30 at 7:02PM

Today I learned why Mondays get a bad rap. New York hospitals did that.
It doesn’t matter how experienced or strong of a nurse you think you are, you’re not ready for this. I got there, took my assignment in triage, and the door didn’t stop revolving. Within the first hour all the triage beds were full and there was a line waiting. Some were belligerent and cussing demanding to be seen, some were tearful, all were scared. Everyone’s wearing masks and complaining of how hot they are. Management is visible, on the floor working, asking what you need, how they can help.

These women are coming in alone, leaving their husbands, sisters, moms- whoever brought them- in the waiting room as they are assessed and treated. If they stay they can have one support person, no trading off- ONE person, per patient, per stay…. WHEN THEY ARE HAVING A BABY. Or when they’re not. Some of these girls are miscarrying, or having a threatened miscarriage, and they have to pick the one person that can sit next to them, hug them, tell them it’s going to be okay. One person. Because of this virus. Oh, and when they do deliver, dad gets one hour to bond then they have to leave .. til mom goes home.

Covid in pregnant women is a hard thing to look at. She’s struggling to breath and her 02 sats are in the 70-80s. Do you know how much oxygen that means her baby is getting? She went to ICU. I didn’t have time to check and see how she was doing after she left our floor.

I also didn’t have time to eat, drink, or pee. I can feel my heartbeat in my feet after sitting down for 10 minutes on this bus, and don’t even feel sorry for myself because I had more help than the night shift I just left.


March 31 at 9:27PM

I wasn’t going to post words tonight, but just a picture. If you haven’t seen it, this isn’t some professional National Geographic wait for the perfect poignant shot picture. It’s a snapshot, taken with a phone, by a nurse, here, in New York City.

But then…

Ive always been a believer of “to each their own”. I’ve never had a hard time respecting someone’s opinion or beliefs without agreeing with them myself. And then today I find myself typing out the words “you’re a fucking idiot” in response to a strangers comment on a friends post. A stranger. Going on and on about how this virus is a hoax. Well-?! .. is he..? an IDIOT?? Are people that fn STUPID? I just hope..these individuals don’t end up with the virus themselves and need the medical attention and treatment from one of these doctors or nurses that read that shit. Because I think, for the first time in my life I would walk on by.


April 5 at 7:05 PM

Day 5 was mixed. I am sore and I am tired. My back hurts from being on my feet for 15 hours a day, and there are open spots on the back of both my ears from wearing a surgical mask over the N95, to try to make it last longer. You end every day with a headache from the tightness and pressure of the N95 on your face all day. We have two rooms just dedicated to corona virus rule outs on Labor and Delivery, and we are going to ICU to do fetal monitoring for positive moms. We constantly weave in and out of ambulances on the way to and from the hotel. I’m not complaining.

I was present and praising God at the beginning of 2 new lives today. The OB charge nurse called the 4 of us crisis nurses together n she stood up and told us that when she saw on the news that nurses were coming from all over the country to help in NY, she was emotional and touched. When she heard her hospital was getting 200 nurses, she was excited. But when we walked onto her unit to work, she couldn’t believe it. She thanked us with a sincerity that was raw and I will never forget.

Across town my friend Sid had a different day. When she text me I put my phone down and cried. You don’t even have to be there to feel the terror of that shift. Its not plateaued, and it’s not slowing down. Again, she is not at the same hospital I am.

****five codes… they all die. staff is so so rude and unhelpful. it’s such a toxic environment.
my patient was one of them at 0630. my vent stopped working because it’s a damn portable and he’s been on it for three days. they refused to get him another one and said that they had to save them for other patients… I bagged him for a good 30-45 minutes without a peep valve and of course he started to decompensate. it was me and a resident and nobody would help, he coded and died. the bus has left me. I have to wait for a van to come get me.
we are reusing code carts over and over, we have no oxygen on the unit, the low oxygen alarms are going off, we are out of sedation, we’re using pediatric pulse ox’s… i’m doing things that are just going against my morals and it’s so hard to see how these patients are going down.
I do not think covid is killing these people, it’s the lack of staff, education, equipment and resources…. *****

And so now there’s that.

Oh, and my other friend here, that I came with, she was in the ER today, positive.


April 3 at 8:07 PM ·

On day 7, the Midwest is looking really good. After a week here, working nonstop, you’re a different person. I miss home, miss my kids and I miss my husband, Joshua, who tried everything from arguing to pleading with me not to go-because he was worried about my health-but has been indescribably supportive, and encouraging me every day. I love you.
Im irritable and emotional. Tears fell out of my eyes and right down onto my patients bed yesterday as I’m leaning over her doing all the things when we lost fetal heart tones. That’s not how I nurse, and has nevvver happened. I just couldn’t help it.
The feeling of impending doom is heavy. There are numerous morgue trailers, morgue tents, and mobile morgue trucks all over the city. Ambulances constantly speeding by, lights on, horns blaring.
Don’t miss the view from my patients labor room below.
The hospitals here have now started ethical triage. That’s when families are simply told there are no ventilators to save your family member. Do they need a ventilator to survive? Yes? Then roll them over there to die.
People over 65 have been denied ventilators to give it to a younger person who has a better chance. WHAT-?
Many healthcare workers here are writing their last will and testament.
New York has now initiated orders that first responders cannot transport people to hospitals if they cannot be revived on the field. They just don’t…even…take…them. Can you imagine, in our country, calling 911 because your wife can’t breath and they won’t even put her into the ambulance?
Thousands of nurses, nurse practitioners and doctors have come to New York, and are risking their lives to help. NO ONE knows how they will respond to the virus..you may be okay, you may die.
All you have to do is stay home.
Or you could be standing in the emergency room hearing “I’m sorry but we don’t have a ventilator for your wife/son/daughter.” No bullshit.
How bout the NYFD though, greeting nurses for our shift 🙌🏼❤️




April 5 at 10:07 AM ·

Yesterday was day 8, and it was the closest representation of a “normal” day in labor and delivery. I had a 1:1 mag patient that I was able to give the appropriate amount of attention to, and I didn’t feel like running off the floor once. I’ve gotten a lot of support and kindness from the staff nurses here, and that makes a huge difference.
There are 2 covid+ moms on the unit- these women are SICK- and we sectioned a mom that was in ICU because her oxygen was in the 80’s, and although she resisted having a c/s all day, insisting God would get her through it, her body couldn’t win out over the strain the virus was putting on it. Her baby was born alive and went to NICU.. but this unit continues to focus on life and beginnings. It’s upbeat- a small little bubble of happiness compared to the rest of this city.
I also received a package from the best best friend, Lynn, with more “stuff” I couldn’t live without! Shaina, you’re a special kind of person, and I’ll never forget the N95s you had for yourself, but sent to me instead. ♥️
So I’ll use this opportunity to share some pics I’ve taken since I’ve been here..none too exciting, no touristy or cool things that one would want to see on their first trip to New York, but New York nonetheless.


Madison Square Garden




New Yorker, Carries Hotel

April 5 at 3:02 PM ·

Live♥️ NYFD here showing love to the health care workers!



CarrieAnn Munson
April 6 at 9:38 AM ·

Day 9….Yesterday was my 9th day in a row working in New York City.
The NYFD came to Jacobi and showed the nurses and docs some love, and that was cool.
L&D was slow so I was floated to PEDS, which isn’t pediatrics at all anymore. It’s now an adult med-surg with double occupancy rooms. Practically every patient is covid positive or covid rule-out. The stream of admissions literally doesn’t stop and I heard the charge nurse say I’m at maximum capacity now so what do I do- put 3 in a room?
The mood is still upbeat. This charge nurse was joking and laughing, trying to keep his nurses light and moral high.
One of the nurses in my group got onto the bus tearful, saying she lost one of the patients she’s taken care of since we arrived here. A 38 year old man, who left his wife and 10 year old son, and died alone because of quarantine. The things etched in our minds eye and memories are hard to explain in words, you just can’t understand it without seeing it.
The people who are really sick go from bad to worse quickly, and recovery, if at all, is very slow. The few people that do get extubated, are still 100% dependent on BiPAP. For those who are intubated, more than half are on very strong medications to keep their blood pressure up. And still many of them are dying anyway, despite our best efforts. The most tragic part, is that they are alone. Staff uses their iPhones regularly so that families can use FaceTime to see their person one last time, and say goodbye.
There are videos people are taking suggesting that the situation in New York is not as bad as the media projects. I don’t have the time to watch all the news right now, and I can agree that the streets, even around the hospitals, are not crowded. However, that is NOT an accurate depiction of where actual patient care is being provided. At least in Queens, and the Bronx.. even Manhattan, every department that cares for the critically ill is stretched way beyond normal capacity. I have been working with nurses and physicians, anesthesiologists, general surgeons, gynecologists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurse anesthetists, all of whom have been stepping in to do their best to function as intensive care and/or emergency medical providers. In the emergency room, there literally is no more room for additional stretchers, and those less ill are sitting in chairs, for hours and hours.
This pandemic is real. The severity, which luckily doesn’t seem to impact the majority, is devastating for the minority. Please- distance yourself from others. Act like you have it, and everyone who doesn’t live with you has it too. You may get Covid, you may not. You may get really sick, you may not. But you could be the reason someone else does, without ever knowing.. and some of them are DYING. Dying with no family member there in their final moments…and that would be much worse than missing out on time with your friends, or not eating in your favorite restaurant.


April 7 at 8:24 PM ·

Day 10….Yesterday was day 10. My friend was woken by a call on her room phone from the NYPD, saying there was a complaint against her and she needed to come to the police station for questioning. The officer told her he didn’t want to embarrass her so he would give her time to shower, and she could wear her street clothes (not scrubs) down to the lobby where he would meet her in 40 minutes, walk her out and cuff her before putting her into his car. She called home to fill them in and was told to call the police station back and ask questions.
She learned that no officer had called her, no complaint had been filed against her, and no officer was coming to pick her up to take her to the police station for questioning.
She notified our company who quickly made arrangements to move her, and make her non-registered. They are also making frequent checks on her.
So not only are we fighting the virus, lack of sleep and hot meals, long hours on our feet, homesickness, death in our faces…. now we have to worry about abduction, or worse.
W. T. F.
Today was my 11th day working in New York.
It was a good day.
I was just a labor nurse, it was a nice pace, with wonderful fellow nurses, and a good delivery.
God is present, and He is good.
I am tired, and homesick, He knew I needed a day like this.


April 9 at 6:04 AM ·

I have NO WORDS for the overwhelming feeling of gratitude and appreciation to each and every one of you- and I know who you are- that took the time out of your day -and money out of your wallet- to send me something here in New York to make my time easier. I’ll never forget it. ♥️♥️♥️



April 9 at 7:03 PM ·

Day 13….Today was my 13th day here. Today we also had military nurses arrive at the hospital and assigned to the floor. It is an actual deployment for them. Today I started my shift counting the codes paged overhead, and just realized I stopped counting at 11, hours ago. Today we started swabbing all patients admitted to labor, regardless if they show symptoms or not. Have any of you had this done?..or seen it done?… if you haven’t yet, go ahead and search a video. The swab goes up your nostril all the way back, to your throat. Thrrroaat. Their eyes water and they try to stall, some women push the providers hands away over and over..and then they swab the other side.
I miss home, and it feels so much longer than 2 weeks. But I have so much love and support from home..thanks again to all of you that sent me care packages, you can’t know how much of a difference it makes. And this unit continues to make each of us one of their own, embracing us more every day, with endless thank you’s.
I still feel healthy, with no signs of illness, so I won’t be whining or complaining.

This is Carrie’s first 13 days. It is so hard to comprehend as we just sit here every day waiting for the days to pass. We see it on the news, but the reality does really have the full impact unless you know someone who is fighting the fight……Part 2 will follow her to DAY 21


Day 12…..My Box Arrived…Tammy in New York….Coronavirus

“FINALLY”, MY BOX ARRIVED……I sent it last Friday Priority USPS,  They said Monday delivery.  After it left the Rio Grande Valley, It mysteriously disappeared, but going through 11 check points before arriving in New York City at the Hotel.  3 days ended up 7 days.  Apparently their must be so many boxes being sent these days.  Since everyone is trapped at home, I’m sure they are ordering everything from food to luxury items.  I let Tammy know, so the girls picked it up when they got back.  Then Tammy opened it….


I had taken everything out of the boxes I could and just poured it in….lol…Kool-Aid Packets for their water, a large bag of mints, and many things underneath.   wp-15871242555568116005536908701642.jpg

In the box, I had 2 zipper bags, 2 back packs, snacks, Chapstick, headbands, scarfs, bandana’s from 2 ladies in the park, and on her shoulders is the masks our ladies made in the park.  They gave the girls 4 masks that tie.  They LOVED them.  I think they wear them over their N95 mask.   So they should have plenty now.

Tammy said yesterday was an OK day.  She keeps getting moved everyday to different units.  Brittney and her have never worked together yet.  Yesterday they put her in a unit that had been Occupational Health before.  Now it is a step down unit from ICU.  She had 3 patients that she took care of all day.  I asked her if she has seen a slow down of cases as Governor Cuomo says.  Yes, the Emergency Room is not nearly as busy.  Sometimes they have a surplus of nurses and they send them to different floors.  That is a very good sign.  She said they will probably need help for a long time.  Many of the original staff has left due to being so overworked, tired or sick.   Theirs also many National Guard present.  Every night as they drive home they see more and more activity and people on Times Square.  New York City’s Shutdown has been extended to May 15, but people are getting restless all over the US.   Some of the Hospitals are on the news a lot like Mount Sinai Hospital.  Her Hospital, Lincoln is in a poor neighborhood in the Bronx.  Their are projects around them, so they probably don’t rate to get the news publicity.  Most of them are all Spanish speaking.

They do seem tired, but continue to be upbeat.  But we really don’t know what they are thinking as they go through their day attending to the sick and dying.  I’m sure, it is very hard to see people suffer.  You have to put on a “mask” to cover your feelings.  Here is a piece Tammy put on FB yesterday.  It gives you some incite as to what they are thinking and what is happening……..

“Day 11! It’s getting harder to get up every morning but not impossible! The last couple of days have not been to bad. I have felt like I am starting to make a difference. I am always being put on a different floor and every floor is such a different world. And these patients rarely ask for anything. They know we are busy and are very appreciative for every second of our time that we give them. The patients that are not on vents are seriously struggling to breath. They cant talk or eat. All of the energy is spent on breathing. And we have to keep all the doors closed. Yesterday I was on a floor that had 2 patients per room. The patient by the door is on a vent and the patient by the window is not. There is no tv or radio. And the doors have to remain closed at all times. Can you imagine being that patient by the window? You are concentrating all your effort into breathing and the only distraction being the noises coming from the lifeless person in the bed next to yours with a noisy machine making them breath… knowing that you are probably going to become that person soon …. my heart goes out to all these people… may god bless us all ❤❤❤❤
On a brighter note: my friend Jeny Orozco had me set up this amazon wish list account for people to send us stuff. We never dreamed so many people would care to send anything! With so many thank yous from Britt Novak and I! Thank you soooo much! It definitely makes us a little less homesick and a little more comfortable! We love you! You are amazing!  ……..Tammy

Their is a reward for helping sick people as they get better.  But what is the reward when they witness these patients in their rooms slowly dying.  They witness their pain, and feel and share their inner thoughts on their last days.  Their families are not allowed in because of the virus.  On the news, they show some nurses calling the patients families so they can facetime.  That is their only contact.  Their only reward is making it less painful…..….But that is what a Good Nurse does...…..They do their best to help make them comfortable as possible. wp-15871226469402775883000804005635.jpg

This is an exert from Brittney’s FB.

The first picture shows how I feel everyday: FUCK COVID!!!🖕🏻 The things I see and hear are heartbreaking and unfortunately disturbing. Everyday at work I feel frustrated, sad and most of all, mentally and physically exhausted. I can’t always complete all the tasks intended to actually help my patients …I want to poor my heart and soul into helping everyone but there isn’t enough time, resources, or staff. I feel defeated everyday. 😞 I do what I can but I feel it’s not enough. Everyone who is suffering from this terrible virus needs all the HOPE and PRAYERS they can get. 🙏🏻 I cannot wait until our world is right again 🌎

The second picture: THE POSITIVE. The hospital I’m at has tons of PPE!!!!! I’m wearing my regular scrubs, then paper scrubs and then a gown along with shoe covers, ankle covers, head cover, goggles and I wear a surgical mask over my n95. IT GETS HOT 🔥 let me tell you!! But it’s worth it to stay protected! 🙌🏻 Most have been so thankful we are here to help and I can’t imagine the chaos before we showed up! It’s just mind blowing to me.
So far this entire experience has been a shock to me. I can’t wait to visit NYC again when life it back to normal! It will be nice to see what it’s actually suppose to be like! ☀️⭐️✨
THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL THE LOVE & SUPPORT! I can’t thank you enough! 💕….. Brittney 

These words explain what is going on inside them everyday.  But the fact is, their are thousands of people from the medical field in New York  feeling the same way.  Now the President is thinking about starting to open up the country again.  So lets just hope it is done in a manor as to not have a flare up.  The Governors will take charge of their own states.  I know the country is getting restless, and the economy is terrible.  Unemployment is an all time high, but this must be done in an intelligent way according to each area.  We in the Rio Grande Valley are still going up.  As of last nite Cameron County now has 270 cases with another death…That makes 4 deaths…..That is an increase of 16 cases in one day….

Where and When will it end…….OR WILL IT….


Day 9……Tammy and Brittney in New York…Coronavirus


Yesterday was Day 9 of their 21 day contract.

The girls have been very busy and don’t have much time to talk.  They have had some very hard days.  They work 12 hours and are on their feet all day.  The hospital cafeteria is closed, Tammy mentioned a food truck was outside the hospital, but she didn’t have time to make it yesterday.  Everything is closed at the hotel by the time they get back.  So they depend on the food they bring.  Their are no frig’s or microwaves in their rooms which I find awful.  Especially a frig.  By the time they leave their feet are so tired and they are exhausted.   She mentioned having some trouble with the bus being there on time and also having a driver for the return trip to the hotel.  Lots of confusion I think.  But like Tammy said, “Their are no rules”  They all just do their best.  Sunday, when she returned to her room she said she was exhausted and her feet hurt and it was all over a bad day.  She went straight to bed.  One morning when she returned, 3 people died during the night.  On the floor that was originally the OB floor, she said 6 our of 7 were on Ventilators and in a coma.  I was really worried for her the next day, but she text in the afternoon.  She had been moved to another floor that was an established ICU.  Their was more of the regular staff, and things ran smoother.  She was much more upbeat.  I was so relieved.   Yesterday she had a REALLY GOOD  DAY……She was in charge of 6 patients all day.  She even did her drips.  “Not That I know what that means”….lol…But she said they weren’t on Ventilators but probably would be soon.  She felt really Good about the care she had given.wp-15869123913682353561422126566390.jpg

Last week I had sent my box with all their supplies in it.  Masks, Safety Glasses, Scarfs, Headbands, Chap Stick…..ETC….I sent it Priority on Friday, and they said it would arrive Monday.  Here it is Wed morning and no Box.  I’M NOT A HAPPY CAMPER....Tammy posted a link to Amazon so anyone could send them snacks and drinks….Well first shipment arrived today.wp-1586916945140675817918407112038.jpg

An Amazing amount of boxes.  But bet those boxes don’t really have much in them.  Amazon doesn’t pack very appropriately.  But it was like ChristmasTammy called me and she put the 2 of them on Speaker Phone while they opened everything.  They were laughing and had a good time.wp-15869169906185860882024397415915.jpg



…..What a mess…..

They got some really good stuff.  Those drinks will be so good for them after drinking sink water….yuck….All the packages that come to the hotel for the nurses are put into a semi trailer.  The hotel doesn’t sort it,  members of the staffing agency sort it and the girls have to go and get their mail.  Hopefully my box comes tomorrow.  After we hung up, they found out they had more packages….wp-15869170656415670822944204695239.jpg


Today is Brittney’s Birthday…..Look at That those Masks……..Now that’s Classy…


Now that’s something they will never forget…Their Birthdays of  “2020”  Tammy’s April 6, Britney’s April 15….Both spent in New York City fighting Coronavirus

Wow,  how much more will you girls get…..But it was so good to hear them laughing and see them smiling.  It was a good day for them.  I know they so needed it.  They are so GREATFUL To Everyone who sent them stuff.  They were amazed.  It sure gave them a HIGH tonite.  These will be things they will never forget,  The generosity of their friends….THANK YOU....They found out on Monday 5 more of the nurses from OSF in Peoria have been hired.  They have to be in New York City Wed and Thur.  They don’t know what hotel they will be at yet.  Even though Mayor Cuomo says it is leveling off, the agencies are still hiring.  So Many are still dying every day.  wp-15869189893749022227143121193832.jpg

So tonite Tammy will go to bed and put another post it note on her picture on her wall.  She has them numbered to 21, and also her cards their that she has received….Hoping Tomorrow will be as good as today.

The statistics of New York City are mindboggling.  Their have been 10,367 deaths contributed to Coronavirus.  As of Monday the city has tallied 107,263 cases, with many more being undetected because of lack of testing.  Among the Coronavirus deaths 60 percent happened in the hospital, 22 percent at home and 18 percent in Nursing Homes or long term care.  Brooklyn has had the most, followed by Queens, and then the Bronx.

Here in Cameron County we are up to 239 cases with 3 deaths.  Harlingen has 84 of those.  5 days ago we only had 147 in the county and Harlingen had 47.  We are escalating fairly fast.  But in Harlingen many of those are contributed to the 2 nursing facility’s.  All 3 deaths were in the nursing homes.  Once it is in their it is so hard to control.  It is spread before anyone realizes it.  It has spread from the employees and families to the patients.  So sad.  So we continue to stay home, shop when needed with our masks on as the County has ruled.  Now, only 1 in the car preferred, but if 2 you must wear the masks.  No children in any store, nor in a car unless an essential reason.  More people are leaving to head north.  We still have some more Winter Texans but by the end of the month they will leave.  We will be back down to our regular residents of 100+ people.  We were going to head north in May, but who knows now what will happen.  The president is talking about starting to open up the country, but I think it will take a lot of time.  Many states still have not peaked.  I’m afraid if it opens to soon, it will escalate again.  The Governors are not happy about Trumps plan to take control.  They want the power themselves to make the decisions.  I feel that is right.  Each state has had their own impacts of this virus.  Some much worse than others.  Each needs to examine their data and act according to the best interests of the healthcare for their residents.  China has now finally opened up their country about a week or two ago.  But what is on the news…….Their is an escalation of cases…..So This is Scary….WE NEED THAT VACCINE.wp-15869125089279121280037809177417.jpg

Day 5….Tammy and Brittney in NY…Coronavirus

Today is Tammy’s 5th day in New York and her 2nd day working. She finally received her assignment yesterday for Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx.


Marriot Marquis on Times Square

After arriving Sunday and checking into the Marriot on Time square, Tammy and Brittney took an Uber to Target to get some grocery’s. Time to prepare for their next several weeks. They have no frig or microwave in their rooms, but their is one on one of the floors. They are able to use laundry service which is a plus. The hotel charges $5 a load. Pretty good price. I asked about the availability to buy bottled water, and they say they are filling their water bottles with sink water. Yuck. No I don’t think I could do that. After resting they went out to the street to find fast food and coffee. They took some interesting pictures.


This is Brittney. The streets are so empty. Hardly anyone in sight. So Erie….You can only imagine the traffic on a normal day.


All the Marquis have so many Wonderful Inspiring Messages of Gratitude. They said all the people they meet are so grateful for them being their to help.


Both the girls looking for McDonalds and checking out their strange new world. Neither on has been in New York before. Monday morning they checked in at 5:45am for their briefing. This is where they will get their assignment. They didn’t get one, but they have to stay in their scrubs all day and be ready for a call at any time. They are able to go back to their rooms to rest. Many more people came in again during the day and overnite. She Estimated near 1000. This happened again on Tuesday, and Wed. Thursday morning they went down and immediately received their assignment. I’m so glad they are going together. They can lean on one another.


They immediately went and boarded their busses. Fortunately all transportation is provided also. Their assignment was the Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx.


In the pictures, it doesn’t look that old, but Tammy said it is. Lincoln Hospital in Normal times is a full service Medical Center and Teaching Hospital. It is owned by NYC Health and Hospitals. It is a Level 1 Trauma Center with 362 beds. It was founded in 1839. Tammy started a group text site for all the family so we were all waiting and wished her all the good blessings and stay safe messages……...Yesterday was a day of wondering..….I’m sure we are all doing that now again today. I wondered what she was doing. Our biggest question was, would they supply her with all the PPE she needed to be safe. How bad was this hospital. Seeing all the news reports on TV from New York City Hospitals is very scary...….Finally that evening she came on messenger. She had gotten back to the room earlier and immediately took a shower. She was exhausted. It was a tough day. the hospital has turned from a full service hospital to a total ICU Covid-19 hospital. She said it was crazy. She had to be back on the bus at 6am this morning for their next day. Tina asked about PPE. Did they supply everything? This is what Tammy Said….They came with their scrubs, then put on paper scrubs, then put a full length paper robe on. Now a N95, and a surgical mask over that, then a surgical cap. Then goggles, like seriously big and tight. They wear that the entire shift, which is over 12 hours. I can’t even imagine being dressed like that all day. They asked for Safety Glasses. Rich is going to Lowes today to pick some up. I have a care package ready to mail this afternoon….Priority Mail…They will go in as well as headbands and scarfs for their hair. No Bandana’s to be found. Chapstick, snacks, Kool-Aid packets for their water, and cheap drawstring bags for their lunches and snacks they bring. This morning they asked for a box of sandwich bags for their phones at work. This afternoon I will mail it and hope she gets it very soon. So this will be our life the next several weeks. Waiting for her message at nite to say she is back in her room.



Here in Harlingen it is heating up. Cameron County is up to 147. Harlingen itself has 47 of those. They are mostly contributed to 2 Nursing Home Facility’s. We have the Shelter In Place extended to April 21. Curfew Midnight to 5. No children in the stores. If they are out in public or in a car, it must be with a parent and have a good reason. We must all wear face masks in public. I went to Walmart yesterday to do Tammy’s shopping and I will say, many people still are not wearing them. Walmart has supplied their employees and even some of them were not wearing them. Our ladies in our park are making them for the people who need them. They are also giving the girls more masks that I will put in the box today…..”Thank You Eastgate Ladies”…..


They are doing a great job taking care of all of us. This is Rich’s. He wanted a tie, I ordered elastic. They have a pipe cleaner in the nose so you can form it.

So now we just go on. Tammy, Brittney, and all the Healthcare workers are giving themselves to help others. We all pray they will be safe through all this. I know the girls appreciate and are amazed at all the well wishes on FB. They read them all and it helps them to do the task they are there for. Many of you they don’t know, but EACH and EVEYONE means so much to them. You all give them Strength.

Thank You from all our Hearts for all your caring and prayers……


My Favorite Picture…..You can see the New Years Eve Ball on top of the building

Happy Birthday Tammy….Coronavirus..Day 1 in New York City…



…Just 4 days ago, I was thinking if I should send Flowers or Balloons for your Birthday. Then the realization, that I couldn’t even do that, because its not an ESSENTIAL Business….Then Thur. you called me….“How would you feel about me going to New York”.….I took a moment to pause…..I know she is a devoted nurse, but even “THAT” I didn’t expect….I finally said “I don’t want you to, but I understand why and will support you if you go”. So 3 days later she arrived in New York and today is awaiting her assignment.


The Staffing Agency that is recruiting the medical field put out a call for 550 RN’s. This is the 2nd wave of hiring that I am aware of. Two of Tammy’s friends from Peoria were already their. On Friday the phone lines were opened and they were to stay opened until they hired the full amount. Tammy and her friend Brittney kept trying and finally made it through and were hired. They wanted them their by Sunday for Orientation..…Wow, that’s only 2 days. So plans happened fast. She talked with Tina, as Carly, who is 8 has been staying with her since the Virus broke out. Tina was on board with her going also. Tina has been an Amazing Sister. She has helped Tammy out so much with Carly. It is so hard finding a babysitter when you are a Nurse. Tina has always been their for her. Lately, Carly has been staying with Tina full time because of the Virus. Tammy could easily be a carrier as she works 2 different hospitals. So now Tina has Officially taking the responsibly of Carly while Tammy is gone and this Health scare is going on. Tina got to work and started lining up supplies.


She found a local supplier of Alcohol Antiseptic Solution. It cost her $255. Quite a bit. She is gave Tammy and Brittany each a bottle and a small spray bottle to refill.


She personalized each bottle with their name and tinted Brittney’s blue. Tina also managed to get Clorox wipes, gloves, and masks from her Rotary friends.



Aunt Connie also made her some masks, and also gave her a “Spirit Bag”…..It is suppose to keep her safe. Of course she had to stop and see Carly. Of course Carly doesn’t know she is leaving. All she knows is that her momma is saving peoples lives. It has to be very hard on a child to understand what is happening right now in the world. I can’t even imagine what a child would think when its her mom trying to save people. That had to have been so hard on them both…..Such emotional times. She also had to stop and say Goodby to Cassidy, her 16 year old, who was staying with friends. Then she went and seen her friend Kathrine who is a nurse in Peru. Kathrine had made her a GORGEOUS Birthday Cake.


It is FABULOUS and so detailed. The Statue of Liberty even has a mask on it. Katherine, it is so Beautiful.

So finally Sunday morning after packing all her supplies and clothes, Katherine and her mom came by and Tammy along with Cameron, her 21 year old son headed to Peoria. They stopped and picked up Brittney who is also a nurse, and then the 2 of them flew out on Delta, heading for NYC with a small layover in Atlanta.


They arrived around Noon at JFK Airport. Fortunately Brittney is Uber and Large city savy……lol….They took an Uber to the hotel for around $55. The Agency has put them in a Marriot in private rooms right on Times Square.


Times Square….Notice all the gratitude’s on the Marquis for all the help they are getting

This is her view from her window on the 17th floor. Brittney is on the 21st floor. She said that one of these buildings is where they drop the ball on New Years Eve. Her other 2 friends from OSF in Peoria are at a different hotel. One is in the Bronx. Their Orientation was 5pm Sunday nite. She had told me that she thinks they will be working 21 days straight. The bus will probably pick them up around 6am and they may not get back till 9pm.

So Today is Monday, April 6. It is her 42nd birthday. I talked with her this morning. They had to go to the Lobby and sign in. They don’t know if they will get an assignment today. They were told that once on the job, they might not have time to eat, so fill your pockets. They took a cab to Target and filled up on Groceries for their rooms. Their were many nurses in the Lobby waiting for their assignments. Tammy thinks they are a bit overwhelmed right now and they have more nurses arriving today. But they will get it together. I’m so glad she has Brittney with her and she is not alone. Times like this you need someone to talk with and lean on. At Orientation, they made it sound pretty grim. It was going to be difficult for them. They would see things and might be forced to do things that were not the norm. I’m sure they laid it on the line. When you watch tv and they interview the medical staff, it is really scary. The first Coronavirus case in New York was reported on March 1. Now as of April 6, their are 122,911 cases and 4161 deaths. In New York City alone, their are, 67,552 cases and 2,472 deaths. New York is scared and desperate. They have a shortage of ventilators, masks and other equipment. They are having to make judgment calls on life or death with many of the patients. So I hope that I will be able to talk to Tammy daily. She set up a family chat group for us all. My hope is that she will at least let us know every day that she is ok. It will be a long 3 weeks. We all Hope she stays safe and Healthy.

So Happy Birthday Tammy…..A Birthday to Remember…


Tammy Graduated in the Summer of 2014 with her BSN. It was a long 5 years. She decided when she was in her 30’s and with 2 kids (single parent) that she wanted to do this. Scott had had an accident and lost his arm, and Ed, Tina’s husband had been in a 4 wheeler accident. Both were lucky to be alive. That’s when she decided she knew what she wanted. It became her passion. Of course being a single mom and no money she turned to the family. She formulated a plan. We all took turns Babysitting. Scott put her on his payroll so she had living money. Whoops #3, Carly showed up…..Small delay, but she persevered. Right after Carly was born, her Ex Boss Rita, from First Student Bus Company came to the house and took care of Carly. We also had a Baby Shower for her….All Diapers and Wipes…..lol…She had 2 years supply….It was Great…...Tina did her share of helping and babysitting. Brandy had her day to take Carly. I was babysitter/Taxi for Cassidy and Cameron after school. Even Aunt Connie helped when needed. On weekends she had friends help so she could study. Every semester we would get our new schedules to help her…..It was a Long….Long 5 years.….But she did it….Because she wanted it so badly, she applied herself and persevered……


The whole family was behind her….”We ARE ALL SO PROUD OF YOU”…


But it was a TEAM EFFORT……This is my Favorite Picture of the Kids….It was taken almost 9 years ago……..Tina, Scott, Tammy.…Their birthdays are all March and April. If it wasn’t for all 3 of them working as a team, Tammy would not have been able to achieve her dream. Now, I’m not implying they all get along….lol….You know theirs’s always sibling rivalry. I could go one forever with stories on that subject.


Well all this happened in just 4 days…..Whew…..Everyday is a Roller Coaster….