NYC 2019 Versus NYC April 2020….Covid

I have been thinking about the changes in New York City in this past year.  Will it ever be the same again? Last year, Thanksgiving 2019, Tina and Ed took the kids to New York City for the first time.  Austin’s birthday was on Dec 1, and he had wanted to see the Lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center and the Macy Day Parade. 

Streets are full of Traffic and sidewalks full of people…
The Official Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center.  It was lit up the following weekend after they left.

NYC was alive and brilliant with lit up marquis, Christmas lights galore, and lots of people.  The Marquis lights were so full of colors, and flashing the Broadway and TV shows all the way up and down the blocks as far as you could see.  The skyscrapers were towering high above with some of their office lights still on.  The tall beautiful 77 ft Norway Spruce, from Orange County Florida was placed at Rockefeller Center to be the official Christmas tree for the season.  It was 46 ft in diameter and weighed 14 tons.  Christmas lights and displays were everywhere.  The sidewalks were full of bustling busy people with their winter coats and hats, and the streets were full of vehicles including carriages giving tourists rides and policemen directing traffic. They signed up to ice skate at Rockefeller Center, and had to wait till 10PM for a time slot.  They had so much fun.  If you listen, you can almost hear all the noise in the background, the music, car horns, whistles, sirens and all the people laughing and talking. 

Rockefeller Center Skating Rink
Ed and Austin skating in Rockefeller Plaza with the Tree in the Background. 
Austin loves the Pokémon
Macy’s Day Parade….2019

The kids stayed at Crown Plaza on Times Square in Manhattan

Little did anyone know what was about to happen in several months………..

View from Tammy’s’ hotel window at the Marriot Marquis on Times Square in Manhattan

About 5 months later Tammy arrived.  She stayed at the Marriot Marquis also on Times Square in Manhattan, only about a block from where Tina and the kids stayed.   When she arrived the city was shutdown.  Governor Cuomo declared Shelter in Place, and all business closed.  The city that never slept at night grew silent……No traffic, no people on the street, No car noises, no tourists.  The marquis were lite up, but they displayed messages,  ‘Thank You To Our Frontline Nurses”   “Thank You to Our First Responders”.  Tammy had answered the call for RNs to work in NYC.  What a contrast it was from 5 months ago when Tina and the family was their……

Standing in the middle of the street….No people….No traffic

She was assigned to a Bronx Hospital.  The city was reeling in panic.  Covid-19 was infecting people by the thousands.  Many business’s let their employees work from home, otherwise, you simply did not work.  Just think of all the business who employed workers to service and sell to customers.  No work? ….No Money?….You still get bills…..Many business’s closed permanently and people lost jobs.  We all watched NYC from all over the USA.  The virus was starting to travel across the US, but  we never thought it would come to our home town too. 

When Tina, Ed and the kids were in NYC, The Corona Virus was just beginning overseas, but on its way to America.  In just a very few months it would take over NYC bring it to its knees and screeching to a halt.  NYC would fill its hospitals up to over capacity, and the morgues would be full of bodies, with refrigerated trailers rented or purchased to help hold the overflow………The Year of 2020 will be born with the Beginning of the Coronavirus taking over the world.   It almost seems like a bad sci-fi movie…..but its todays reality.

Tammy and her friends from Illinois on the streets of NYC
New York City Honoring the Front Line Workers

The first case of Covid-19 was confirmed in NYC in March of 2020.  They said it had probably already been their for awhile.  23,000 were confirmed by March 27.  2 days later on March 29 it had risen to 30,765……Wow, those numbers are mind boggling…..Tammy was hired by Krucial Staffing Agency, _{Emergency Agency} on their 2nd wave of hiring.  She arrived and started working on her birthday April 6.  By that time they had over 2,000 deaths.  NYC had become the worst affected area in the country.  The dead were dying to fast for the funeral homes to take care of them.  Some homes bought or leased refrigerator units.  Even the Crematoriums were booked and couldn’t keep up.  They began burying bodies in mass at Hart Island……Potters Field, for the poor.  Today, New Years Eve, their is 430,597 confirmed cases in the city for a total.  Todays daily count is 4,207.  They have had a total of 25,042 deaths with 41 for their daily count.  New York have brought the counts way down and had started opening the city in the summer, but the counts are on the rise again. 

The virus is on the rise again all over the country and the world.  California is suffering terribly.  Their hospitals are overfull.  They have nowhere to put new patients.  They are running over 30,000 new cases a day.  Illinois was bad for awhile.  Governor Pritzker shut down much of the state.  It is now declining.  As of today Illinois has a total of 963,389.  the daily count is 7,374.  Texas has been bad up north, but its heading down south  again.  Todays totals are 1,766,410 with a daily counts averaging around 15,000.  We are hearing reports that our local hospitals are filling up, and their is a medical staff shortage.  Down her in the RGV our first wave was this summer. The hospitals were so backed up, they set up emergency units for the overflow.  Now Texas is starting to heat up again.  Many areas are now having their 2nd wave.  We are told to expect a new wave because of the holidays.  People really have a hard time respecting Social Distancing.  Masks are a must.  It’s been a tuff year.  Everyone is tired of Social Distancing.  They are getting together for all the holidays.  That can spell disaster.  We also have those people who don’t believe.  They think the government is infringing on their rights.  They want the freedom to make their own decisions on mask wearing.  Also, many say,…. “It will go away when the election is over”……Come on, Really?….How does the election affect the people dying, and those filing up the beds fighting for their lives on ventilators. 

Now we have 2 vaccines finally available with a 3rd one almost ready to be approved.  They are rushing to have it dispensed all over the country.  This is a huge feat which is already having problems.  Hopefully this is the answer.  All we need is time.  But is everyone taking the vaccine?  I am not….I’m a bit skeptical because it’s new.  Even though they say it’s not been rushed, I still feel it has.  Of course I don’t take any shots, flu shot neither.  So that is my choice. 

So Here it is, the end of 2020, and the beginning of 2021.  Everyone is hoping for a better year.  The virus is still running rampant all over the world.  We are just now hearing of a new Coronavirus Variant entering the states. 2 vaccines have been approved and being rushed around the country to be dispensed. So many people have lost their jobs. We have weekly food lines for family’s who can’t feed their families. People are being evicted from their homes because they can’t pay rent. We wear face masks every time we go somewhere. We practice Social Distancing, no matter what we do. Even the check out lines in the stores. Our White House is in shambles. The leadership and dissention between the party’s and the president are not only embarrassing but devastating to our country. Can we put everything aside when the new President comes into office this month? This is what we must do as a country……UNITE…..AND HEAL…..Their is so much for the New president to do. The people are reeling and suffering from this Coronavirus tragedy. They need some compassion and help. The small business’s have been destroyed. The Economy has ruined so many people’s lives. We need Unity and a plan. A plan for a new beginning. Hope for the people to begin to live once again. Let’s hope we get through these next several months, and 2021 is the start of our NEW BEGINNING….

Carly is Finally Home With Her Momma

Tammy has been home for several weeks now and has finished quarantine.  She did a Covid test and came out Negative…..Hallelujah….Life is beginning to return to normal….Well, Sort of….Carly was able to finally come home from Tina’s. Tina has been so good for Carly, and has taken such good care of her.  But she was now so excited to finally be Home with her mom. While Tammy was still in New York City, my niece sent me a pattern for crocheted Momma and Baby bear, dressed in nurses scrubs with face masks on.  So so cute.  I knew immediately who to ask to make them.

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Pam is a winter resident in Eastgate.  Yes, she was happy to crochete them.  Pam summers at Mendota Hills Campground not far from us at home.  Tammy and Pam both returned to Illinois the same days and completed their quarantine the same day.   Pam finished them after they arrived in Mendota Hills.  They all met at Hobby Lobby in Peru.

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See her face scars….Tammy bought her a New Bike…..Whoops she crashed..

Carly fell in love with them.  Pam said while Tammy and her talked, Carly put them in the seat belts for the trip home.  “Thank You Pam for making them, and Thank You Diane for sending me the patterns”.   For Mothers Day, Carly made her a Card.  She is so creative and artistic.

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Now Tammy has learned to be a home school teacher.  Since the Shelter in Home has happened all the schools have shut down.  Putnam Co has been holding classes on the internet.  Zoom is a program that has become extraordinarily popular across the USA for schools, entertainment industry and businesses.  The schools use it to hold classes as a unit.  At least they can see each other and communicate with the teacher and their friends.  Carly had a science project about Landforms.  She really took it to extreme to create her project.  She has such an imagination.  She was to create her Dream Island using different types of Landforms.

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To construct her Dream Island she took clay, molded it, and painted it inside a large Tupperware container.  She has an extensive amount of little animals and characters from her Fairy Gardens.

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You can see she includes a forest, the sea, a waterfall, cave and Palm trees.  She included a firepit, a boat on the ocean and all her little animals.   This is her Dream Island.  So Creative.  I think she deserves an A+ Tammy bought her an Art Easel.

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She wants to watch Bob Ross on TV now.  Who knows, maybe she is our next Budding Artist. wp-15902523113293984787536407489040.jpg

I asked Tammy about that face, as she looks mad…..Carly said, “That’s my Painting Face”….lol…Ok.  So this is the result.

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I don’t know where she got this at, but I rather like the stars.  So now school is over for 2019-2020.  The teachers had to clean out all the desks and lockers and give everything to the kids with their Certificate.  The kids couldn’t go inside, so the teachers met them all at curbside.

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Miley’s teacher met her at the window of the car.   Her certificate earned her an Award for “AGREEABLE ATTITUDE”  I bet theirs a story behind that.  lol.  This fall she will be in 6th grade.  Junior High is Swaney which is in the country south of McNabb.  Amazing she is in Junior High.  Doesn’t seem possible.  All our kids past through the halls of Swaney.  Now here comes the Grandkids…..Really has it been that long???

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Now we have Austin.  He will be going in the 4th grade in Hennepin.  His Award was for “GOOD CHARACTER”.….Really,  …lol…  Just look at that face….I think he is a duplicate for “DENNIS the MENACE”… Mostly the kids have adapted well this year to the sudden change.  The ones that really have been impacted is the Graduating Classes of 2020.  They have lost out on so much of their Senior Year activities.  Sports programs and Championships, Special Events like, Sweetheart dance and Prom.  So many of the things that make the Senior year so special.  They haven’t even had a Graduation Ceremony.  So many of the towns and schools have come up with great ideas.  Many have had drive by Ceremonies.  All cars line up.  As you drive up, the student exits their car in the cap and gown and walks to the area where they give out the diplomas.  Then the student returns to their car and drives away.  Such a shame, but its the best they can do.  Some towns are making Banners and Billboards and displaying their pictures.  Some schools even have the Superintendent going to each students house for a personal Congrats……These kids are in a special group that will forever remember their Graduation of 2020 amid a Covid-19 Pandemic.  They will have so much to talk about some day.

Even the Fire Departments have been so supportive of the kids.  All the Depts in Putnam Co have been doing Drive by Birthday Parades.   Imagine being a kid who can’t go to school, play with their friends, not even go to the store and visiting family and friends.  Then your Birthday comes and your told, …..No Party, No Friends, No outside Family…..That has to be like the end of the world.  The Fire Departments have been doing Parade drive by’s, flashing their lights, blowing their sirens, and wishing a Personal Happy Birthday over the PA.

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This is the post on the Granville Fire Dept. Page on FB the other day.

Granville Fire Department
May 21 at 9:27 PM ·
The Granville Fire Department has provided well over 70 birthday parades the last couple of months. We would like to thank all of our members and the community members that requested visits for children and adults alike. The youngest was 2 and the eldest was celebrating her 93rd birthday.
All things must come to an end though. We have decided to stop doing parades as of June 1st, 2020. People may now safely social distance themselves and have their own small birthday gatherings with families. We have had fun seeing the excitement of so many residents of this great town. Thanks for thinking of us and letting us be apart of your day making memories to last a lifetime!
Thank you for all of your support, now and all year long

What a wonderful thing the Fire Depts have done for the kids.  It will be amazing to see in years to come as they recite their memories of childhood.

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On March 27th the doors on many Fire Departments raised in unison, displaying all their trucks with their lights flashing brightly.  It is an awesome sight.  All the Depts in Putnam Co displayed their videos on FB.  This was done to show Support for all Fire, EMS, Police, Hospital Staff and all the other workers who is out their trying keep America going and safe as possible during this World Wide Covid-19 Pandemic.  So many are putting their life on the lines.

Things are starting to open up now.  Theirs still so many cases of Coronavirus throughout the US and the world.  Our economy is in such danger.  Employment is so high.  As of today the US has 1,613,443 confirmed cases with 96,662 deaths.  As a nation the count is coming down, although their is still some hot spots.  Illinois is 3rd in the nation because mostly because of Cook County and surrounding county’s.   Illinois has 105,444 confirmed cases with 4,715 deaths.  Texas is 8th in the nation, but will soon pass Michigan and come in at 7th.  Texas has 53,584 confirmed with 1,470 deaths.  New York is still the top……359,926 confirmed with 28,926 deaths.  Now that we are starting to open up, the worry is that it will start an upward trend again.  Such a fine balance the government and medical teams need to do.  We can’t stay home forever, but we don’t want to inundate the hospitals the way it happened in NYC.  We must be prepared with all the medical supplies and PPE to treat the patients and also to protect all the medical staff.  In Cameron County where we live, the restaurants have opened to 50 percent.  Walmart and Lowes don’t seem to care how many are in the store even though they do have a percentage.  Beauty and Barber shops are open, also this weekend churches and bars.  All with Social Distancing.  The masks are no longer mandatory but recommended.  Many of the stores have signs on their door requiring a mask.  I hate to wear mine.  It is so hot.  I do my best, but take it off many times when no one is near.  At the Island, they are expecting 50,000 people this weekend.  Ohhh My…..This could be Not Good.  Social Distancing on the Beach…..hopefully they all Comply…wp-15902523337156123028847534338719.jpg But I do believe it is so important to try to wear them near people.  This picture says it all.  We must protect our neighbor, and respect their rights when we are near them.

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This is “The New Normal”

Tammy bought new masks for her family….Of course….She loves her JeepCassidy looks pretty no matter what she has on…..She has recently started her first job…..”McDonalds”…Yea for her….We plan on still heading to Illinois this summer as long as everything keeps improving.  Here at the park, life is almost normal again.  The halls have opened up and above all…..The Swimming Pool and Spa’s are Open…..People were so missing them.  Illinois is taking small steps.  Sounds like Campgrounds might be opening and also Bars with outside dinning areas.  That will be good for Scott and Brandy.  Tammy has went back to her OSF job in Peoria, 1 day a week. She will be starting a new job soon in Peru at IVCH as a Nurse in ICU.   It will be close to home.  I think she is done with the Traveling Nurse for awhile.  She want to be a little more grounded now. wp-15902523447017926855023072972365.jpg

Last week was Nurses week, so this is my Thank You to You Tammy, and all the Nurses out their.  Your work is so needed.  It is so hard on all of you I’m sure.  The things you see, and the things you have to do, has to be emotionally so hard.   You have to make snap educated decisions.  Whether you are on the front lines or in our everyday unit, you see some horrendous sights.  Many of us could never do what you all do.  You must have a calling…..a Compassion Like No Other….

“Thank Goodness for People Like You”

IMAGINE!!!….The Life of Your Grandparents

When I was a little girl, I lived with my grandmother for 2 years. I was 10, when I moved in with her. I have so many wonderful memories of those years. I remember laying in her bed in the mornings while she was combing her long hair and putting it in a bun. She would tell me so many stories of her life. Mostly happy stories. She was born in 1892, the 2nd of at least 10 children, married in 1918 or 1919, and my mom was born in 1920, an only child. They weren’t poor in their eyes, but they lived very frugally and worked hard to make ends meet. She would tell me many stories of her brothers and sisters and her mom and dad. She would talk about all the family get togethers, family reunions, weddings, and birth of children, cooking, planting gardens and harvesting the vegetables and fruits. Some times she would mention the depression in the 30’s, or even World War 1 (my grandpa fought in it), and World War 2, but she never dwelled on those things just the happy times. As a child everyone seemed so happy.

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I lived with my Grandma Meta in 4th and 5th grade

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Me and my Grandma around 1952

Now we look back and see how far progress has come in a century. Could we ever live like they did back then?. Life as they knew it was so difficult compared to our lives of today. I know myself I could never live without AC anymore. I couldn’t live without electricity or my car. They really worked very hard to maintain their daily lives. Now we have this New Coronavirus Pandemic that has shut down the world. I had never even heard of the Spanish Flu epidemic. It happened in 1918, and had 3 phases lasting till 1920 with no Vaccine. That is a little over 100 years. In hearing about this it has really made me think about all the hardships and important events that our parents and grandparents have experience in their life times. How many people have perished through disease, battle, even murder. All the heartache they experience, but life went on………. Then the other day, I seen this article that Tammy had posted on FACEBOOK from someone. It is such an eye opener.

For a small amount of perspective at this moment, imagine you were born in 1900. When you are 14, World War I starts and ends on your 18th birthday with 22 million people killed. Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until you are 20. Fifty million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million.

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When you’re 29, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, global GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy. When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet.

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When you’re 41, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war and the Holocaust kills six million. At 52, the Korean War starts, and five million perish.

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Approaching your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, could well have ended. Great leaders prevented that from happening.

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At 64 the Vietnam War begins, and it doesn’t end for many years. Four million people die in that conflict.

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As you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends. Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How do you survive all of that? A kid in 1985 didn’t think their 85-year-old grandparent understood how hard school was. Yet those grandparents (and now great grandparents) survived through everything listed above.

Perspective is an amazing art. Let’s try and keep things in perspective. Let’s be smart, help each other out, and we will get through all of this. In the history of the world, there has never been a storm that lasted. This too shall pass!

– Author Unknown

Amazing isn’t it…..In 120 years look what has happened. 2020….We are all still here….Great words….This Too Shall Pass….So now here we are, in the middle of a Pandemic for a new virus….”Coronavirus”….”Covid 19″….The whole world has been shut down. So many people have died. Now the unemployment rate is very high, parents can’t feed their children or pay their bills. Their cars lined up for mile in Food Giveaway Lines. We have just went through “Shelter in Place” just like the Spanish Flu in 1918, we have to wear face masks, just like they did then, also Social Distancing. Politics is in an uproar. You don’t talk with neighbors or family cause you just never know which side they are on. Now we have protesters because they think their lives are being controlled by the government. So many similarities to the past…We need to figure out how to get along with our neighbor…………REMEMBER!!!…THIS TOO SHALL PASS…

So again, I seen another article that Tammy had posted from FACEBOOK….This says it all. We all have different ideas on what is right. We need to be able to think with care and compassion, what is right for ourselves is not always the right for our neighbor.

“I am seeing so much anxiety about resuming business, and so much anger about continued regulations. People are feeling the need to catapult to one side or the other, then fight the opposition.

Here’s my perspective, from a mainstream medical model. I think a lot of folks have fallen into the idea that social distancing was meant to stop the viral spread. It wasn’t-it was meant to SLOW it while we put medical infrastructure in place. It has worked. We have, in most parts, not been overwhelmed like we likely would have been without protective measures. In the meantime, our testing procedures have gotten better. We’ve increased our ventilator count. We’ve gotten a little better handle on PPE supply chains, and many have helped by making masks and gowns. It’s not perfect, but it’s much better than it was seven weeks ago.

A vaccine is a long way off and not everyone will choose to get it. That is their choice. At some point, people have to be systematically exposed to begin the building of (hopeful) herd immunity. We will likely begin to experience a real increase in cases after reopening. Ideally, that exposure is controlled and calculated, in phases, to allow our medical community to respond adequately, and reduce the number of severe or fatal cases. That’s where we are.

Whether you feel like opening is too soon, or not soon enough, we were never going to social distance this thing into nonexistence. You now need to proceed as your health, wallet, and conscience allow.

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If you are medically vulnerable, you do not need to be a part of what is about to happen. Stay home if you can. If you’re not, or if your financial vulnerability trumps your health concerns, you need to proceed in ways that continue to protect yourself, and the elderly and medically vulnerable around you.
All of us need to calm down. Quit telling people who are financially struggling that they don’t care about human lives. Quit telling people who are truly at risk of dying from this virus that they are cowering in fear. Remember that until you’ve walked in someone else’s shoes, you should probably be careful in your judgements and subsequent harsh words.
We don’t HAVE to choose an either/or proposition and fight. We could choose other ways to be. Examples include but are not limited to:
“I think this may be too soon, so I will continue to shelter myself, and pray/make masks/ check on those who can’t.”
“I really need to go back to work, so I will do so, but I will be careful and try to protect myself, my family, and those around me with healthy strategies.”
See how those positions allow each of us to do what we need to, and also respect those who are choosing differently?
One thing that allows us to do this is humility. I can acknowledge that I am not an epidemiologist/economist/whatever, that I am making decisions based on my understanding of complex subjects and my own personal health and financial situation, that I am not all knowing, always right, and an expert in all fields, and that each person around me is doing their best too. We can make different choices and still be a supportive community. We can learn and evolve in our understanding of these issues.

Give one another the benefit of the doubt and the compassion of compromise.

Much love and prayers for everyone in making their own personal decision.”

-Author Unknown

These are both GREAT ARTICLES..…Both are from an Unknown Author. But this is how it should be. No fighting about your beliefs. Remember everyone has a different life style and needs. Be compassionate and make the decisions that is right for you and your family. Be understanding…..Our Great Grandparents, Grandparents and Parents made it….

….REMEMBER…..Be Kind to One Another….

….This Too Soon Shall Pass….

Brittney is Home…NYC…Krucial Staffing….Coronavirus

Brittney has finished her last week and left the city yesterday. She is in good spirits and has returned to Peoria Illinois. Now she will be in her first week of quarantine, Tammy is starting her second, and Carrie should be finishing her last. They are all safe and sound.

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Britt in the very back next to the guy with black glasses

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Brittney on the right…

Brittney had the fortune to be in the same unit every day and a team spirit was formed. I believe that is so important in anything we do. Its a team effort. Patient counts are now slowing down but plenty still their. The other 4 Nurses from Peoria OSF are probably in their 2nd week although Tammy hasn’t talked with them since they spent their day together. These girls have given so much of themselves along with all the medical personnel that came from all over the country. NYC has certainly welcomed them and been so good to them.

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Marriot Marquis….The hotel for Tammy and Brittney

Their appreciation has been shown all over the city. The city marquis were full of messages of appreciation.

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The NYFD and NYPD continually showed their appreciation.

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The Navy Blue Angels and Airforce Thunderbirds on April 28 2020, flying over Manhattan and the Empire State Building. They flew over New Jersey, New York City and Long Island in a salute to Healthcare workers during the COVID-19 crisis.

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The Lincoln Hospital where Tammy and Brittney were is still full of Krucial Staffing Nurses. Many of them have finished their contracts, and many of them have resigned for more time. From what I was reading, it I believe they will have new work schedules that will be more beneficial for the Medical staff. They will have days off every week. It will be more like a real job. According to Tammy’s team leader, Krucial Agency holds 90 Percent of the contracted nurses at Lincoln Hospital. Their are other agency’s but they are the biggest. They will be their quite awhile yet. They expect cases to pick up when the city starts to reopen. So many of the regular staff has caught the virus. They have gotten sick, some died, some quite their jobs due to stress and exhaustion. The healthcare system will need to bring in and train many new nurses.

In researching the hospitals of New York City, I found their are 62 Acute Care Hospitals. They are located in the 5 boroughs, ….The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhatten, Queens, and Staten Island. I found these charts..…The Orange are locations being prepared for a surge in Patients…..Blue are Hospitals….The USNS Comfort Navy Hospital ship ended up only treating 182 patients. It was docked for 31 days in the harbor. The Javit’s Center closed friday after treating almost 1,100 patients. It opened in late March, operated by the US Army.

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When you look at Lincoln Hospital, the figures are overwhelming. They are a 362 bed hospital, but 525 more beds were added. How on earth could the staff take care of patients when they more than doubled in size. Tammy did say they were everywhere. Even in the halls. I believe she said Occ Health had been crammed with 40 beds. The hospital had become total Covid Care.

Governor Cuomo, had requested the US Army Corps of Engineers build at least 4 field hospitals, which included Javits Center…..The other 3 will remain in place in case there’s a second wave of Covid-19. New York City has taken such a hit. It has brought the city to its knees. How can people be protesting about their rights and freedoms. They want to take their kids out to the store. They don’t want to wear the masks. Look at all these sick and dying people. New York City was caught off guard. I know that the economy is destroyed and people are out of work, but what is more important….Life and family…or…Money… Their has to be a medium to where we can return to our life style. But it will never be the same. Not until a Vaccine is found…..or if..

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Krucial Staffing took on a Huge task. They are from the Kansas City area. They are a Specialty Disaster Staffing Agency that FEMA uses for Hurricanes and Tornadoes. They never expected a Pandemic. They received a call from the office of the Mayor of NYC in March. Their Emergency Center Quadrupled in 10 days across 5 different buildings. They had to quickly set up Logistical Teams, Incident Management Teams. In NYC they had to set up Hotels, with a team in each hotel for incoming nurses. They did all the paperwork, assignments, etc. for each incoming medical hire. Each hospital communicated their needs to get their personnel. They needed buses for transportation to each hospital with a team lead on board for each hospital. Back at the office Krucial had to send out the call for nurses. The switchboard had to answer thousands of calls and hire on the spot after collecting all the legal info. During this time, any state license was accepted. No one needed an actual NY license. Last I knew their was over 4,000 nurses hired for the 21 day contract. They were hired in waves of 500 to 1000. By the end of March the help began to arrive. They were housed in many of the hotels across the city. It was a huge undertaking. They also called up medical people for New Orleans. So KUDO’S to Krucial Staffing Agency. I know it didn’t go off without problems, but considering the time element and the needs of NEW YORK CITY, they did amazing.

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So for now, we still do our best to co-operate with the authorities. Cameron County is still climbing slowly. Yesterday we had 11 more raising our count to 432 cases and 18 deaths. Our Shelter in Place ruling as well as face masks have expired on April 30. It is recommended to still use them. Retail business’s and restaurants are now opening with only 25 percent of capacity allowed. Beaches are also opened but we must still use Social Distancing. So are we opening to soon????…..Time will tell. The governor will evaluate in 2 weeks. In Illinois, they still have Shelter in Place and face masks. Cook County is still climbing. Down state in our little Putnam County, it is still Coronavirus Free…..The best news is

Tammy Was Tested……She is Covid-19 FREE…….

But she still is Quarantined for 2 weeks……

Thank You to the Girls, and Thank You to all the Staff that answers the call. They have put their life on the line. They didn’t have to do this, but they go anyway. It is like going to war and fighting the front line. They leave their families and put their lives on hold, not knowing where or the circumstances they will work in. It has be exhausting, so mentally depressing, and so many other adjectives. They have witnessed and done things they never thought possible. Many things were done that were not Ethical, but they had no choice due to equipment shortages and PPE. They have now changed inside. I’m sure they will look at things differently now. They need this time to decompress…….

Hart Island…. NYC Potters Field….Coronavirus

March 14, 2020 was the first recorded death in the Coronavirus Pandemic in New York. Since then, which is less than 2 months, they have recorded over 20,000 deaths. The daily death count had spiked in early April to over 800 a day. Now it has lowered to an average of 260 a day. In 2017 the average deaths in NYC were 149. Daily hospitalizations went from 3,181 in April down to around 600 a day, much better but still too many. So many people flooding the hospitals. So many people dying. Where Do they put them all. The funerals homes were called. They were at capacity. They rented reefer trailers to keep the bodies in. Fema deployed 85 reefer trailers to the city. Many hospitals had reefer units in their parking lots. An embalmed body will last at least 2 weeks without decomposing. A refrigerated body, a couple of months. But generally in the normal world, that never happens. A body is usually buried or cremated with in 3 days. But now family’s were becoming desperate. They only had a 2 week window to take care of their family member. How could they take care of the overload…..The Crematoriums were overloaded also. Their are only 4 in the City, 2 in Queens, 1 in The Bronx, and 1 in Brooklyn. They can only process 20 a day. The government gave them permission to process the bodies 24 hours of the day, but still that doesn’t even begin to take care of them all.

The other problem was many of the dead were not claimed. Because of the virus, once you entered the hospital, nobody was allowed to visit. Many died alone without the family or had no idea their loved one died. Many HAD NO family. The families had 2 weeks to claim the bodies before something had to be done. So what was the answer….

…….HART ISLAND…….Potters Field Cemetery …..

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Hart Island is about 1 mile long by .33 wide. It is located on the western edge of Long Island Sound, and north east of The Bronx. New York City actually contains 36-42 islands. We know some of them, Manhattan Island, Staten Island, and Long Island are the big ones. The others we know are Coney Island, Ellis Island, Rikers Island. Of course we all know Rikers, from Law and Order….It is the home of NYC’s Jail Complex. Hart Island is the burial grounds for over one million people. These are people not claimed by their relatives and the poor and homeless. Some people choose to be buried their because of the cost. Also the people who died of diseases that needed a mass burial site. Many children and stillborn are buried their, as well as dismembered body parts.

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In 1864, the first public use for the island was the training ground for the US Colored Troops. Since then it was used for many things. Union Civil War Prison Camp, Jail, Homeless shelter, Boys Reformatory, Drug Rehabilitation Center, Psychiatric Institution, Tuberculosis’s Sanatorium, and a Potters Field for mass burials. The buildings were abandoned in 1977 and then became the city’s Potters field, run by the NYC Dept. of Corrections. In the fall of 2019 it was transferred to NYC Dept of Parks and Recreation. The Island is isolated from the rest of the city, with no electricity and is only accessible by Ferry Boat from City Island. Burials are performed by the Inmates of Rikers.

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As many of us seen on TV, Hart Island became the temporary burial place of the Coronavirus Pandemic, when the Funeral Homes capacity was overwhelmed and body’s were unclaimed. These burials began in late March of 2020. In April the DOC inmates were replaced with hired private contractors to do the mass burials. The trenches were dug, and burials began as drones hovered over and took pictures. Adults are placed in pine boxes according to size and are stacked in sections of 150, measuring three coffins deep in two rows. Theirs seven sizes of coffins ranging from 1-7 feet long. Each box is labeled with and ID number, the persons age, ethnicity, and the place where the body was found or picked up. The numbers of burials increased from 25 a week to 120. They increased the burials from one day to five days a week.

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The city is hoping that after the Pandemic calms down that families will want to claim their relative. They can be disinterred with the city picking up the costs. The reburial will be the cost for the family to pay. Their is lots of paperwork to file, then the Funeral Home has to come to pick up the body for the new burial. So their fore many will probably leave their loved one on Hart Island because of the cost.

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Hart Island is a seven minute Ferry ride from City Island. It was closed off to the public till 2012. Now families or individuals can request permission to come and visit a grave. You may be escorted to the white painted concrete markers at each plot, or at a gazebo looking out at the field. They say it may all change next year (2021) when the City Parks take’s over management from the Dept of Corrections.

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The Island is a very Peaceful place. The buildings are crumbling from the past. Some are torn down as they need more burial ground. It is full of wildlife and is a bird sanctuary. Maybe when the Parks Dept takes over they will make it a peaceful, beautiful island to visit and feel the spirt of the million people who are buried underneath. It is a very spiritual place. We need to remember these people all had a place in life at one time. They were children, with moms and dads, they all grew up to have a space in life…..A purpose to live…..Many were productive citizens…..And then they passed…..and were forgotten in a Mass Burial on Hart Island…..

Their is so much to read about this island. Its past, the people who are buried. A few had been famous in their younger years and became penniless. The different chapters of this island when the buildings were in use. It is worth the time to search out the history of Hart Island, as well as many of the other 42 islands located in NYC.

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The City Of New York…..Potters Field

Blessed are the poor in spirit……For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven

My Child.….Peace I leave to you….My peace I give to you

The Almighty….Has his own purposes

He must have loved them…He made so many of them

Cry not for us….For we are with the father

No longer do we cast shadows on the ground as you do

We are at peace

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 ……

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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.

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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

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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.

……YOU LADIES ARE AWESOME…..Thank You…..

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 ….

WE LIVE IN THE BEST PLACE…..FRIENDLY EASTGATE RV & MH PARK

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…..

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Carrie on the Right

CarrieAnn 
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

CarrieAnn 
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

CarrieAnn 
April 10 at 10:48 AM ·

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

CarrieAnn 
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♥️

CarrieAnn
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

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CarrieAnn 
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.

CarrieAnn 
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🙌🏼♥️

wp-15873414953148768099073361537901.jpgCarrieAnn 
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

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CarrieAnn 
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

 

CarrieAnn
3 hrs ·

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

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..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

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Jacobi Medical Center

CarrieAnn
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.

CarrieAnn
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.
PLEASE PRAY.

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

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March 30 at 7:02PM

Day3.
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.

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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.

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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.

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CarrieAnn
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 🙌🏼❤️

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CarrieAnn
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.

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Madison Square Garden

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New Yorker, Carries Hotel

CarrieAnn
April 5 at 3:02 PM ·

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

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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.

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CarrieAnn
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.

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CarrieAnn
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. ♥️♥️♥️

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CarrieAnn
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

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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….

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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 🌎

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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

TODAY IS BRITTNEYS BIRTHDAY…..”HAPPY BIRTHDAY”

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

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…..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

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

”HAPPY BIRTHDAY”

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