Local nurse and former Rocket City Mom contributor Ashley Sparks recently started a stint in a coronavirus hotspot. Yesterday she shared her experience on Facebook and gave us permission to share on the site as well. “I desperately want people to understand how serious this is,” said Sparks. “I was stunned at how this has taken off and am praying that people heed the message.”
Lessons from Day Two in Covid Land
1. This stuff spreads like wildfire. Contagious is a massive understatement.
2. Patients go from feeling fine with a slight fever to respiratory distress in a blink. This virus is sneaky and ruthless.
3. Since I arrived yesterday, we have sent nine people out to ICU. At least two aren’t expected to make it. The first case in this place was a week ago.
4. This is not the flu. This is NOT remotely the same as the flu. OH MY GOD, PLEASE HEAR ME WHEN I SAY THIS IS NOT THE FLU. It is much worse and exponentially more contagious.
5. The strain of this on loved ones is extraordinary. The phone calls I’ve had to make have broken my heart. The pain of not being able to see the people dearest to them – parents, spouses, siblings. grandparents – for weeks on end and then getting the call that they are headed to a hospital, alone, in critical condition is absolutely devastating. There were many tears and broken hearts on the other end of those calls. Those whose loved ones are currently not sick are not doing much better. The “what if” from afar is gut wrenching for them.
6. I’m thankful to be here, despite a very physically, mentally, and emotionally draining day. We are still drowning, so I can’t imagine how much they were struggling before this group of nurses got here to help. Everyone has been so nice and welcoming.
7. Crisis shows you who people really are. The good news is that these people I had the privilege to work with today are pretty awesome.
8. I am going to crash and sleep like a rock tonight. I can’t remember the last time I was this tired.
9. You really, really, REALLY don’t want this virus.
10. WEAR YOUR MASK AND STAY HOME!
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Ashley Sparks is a Huntsville native who came back to her hometown with her husband to raise her three kids. She is a wife, mother, nurse, and autism parent.