A busy and disheartening night with COVID patients 'Stay safe, everyone, and respect and protect your frontline workers who are working tirelessly for you all.'

| Betsy Pua’ala Mount (left) and Mylene Peralta

Editor’s note: Betsy Pua’ala Mount is a registered nurse at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital who posted her thoughts on Facebook after returning from work Monday. We are republishing her essay, with her permission.

By Betsy Pua’ala Mount

Monday was the busiest night I have had since COVID hit. It’s a war zone. 

It’s so disheartening to see ages across the spectrum intubated, paralyzed and proned, one by one like a domino effect. One day you had them the next day they’re tubed. You can feel it in the pit of your stomach that it’s inevitable; maybe not today, maybe tomorrow. 

It takes a lot of guts, patience and energy to care for these patients. You have to build a wall or else you will break, so many of us have just had to take a moment — a break — and it’s okay because the never-ending admissions are coming, with no end in sight, as we see the endless cars below us lined up to get COVID testing, a conveyor belt of potential patients. 

God has placed a select few of us nurses to care for these patients, including my buddy Mylene Peralta. She is the ray of sunshine with her beautiful smile everyday. But we are tired and it shows. 

We are in rooms sometimes for up to two hours, fully dressed in hoods, weight belts with hepa filters, gowns and two pairs of gloves. We load up with our meds and linens and enter. We battle the endless low oxygenation saturations of our patients when they turn, cough and talk. We ask them to “breathe, take a deep breath” constantly, while hoping they will recover with our treatments. They look up to us, we are their only cheerleader, their ray of hope, their coach and their encourager. It is a constant conversation we have to have with them. We tell them “yes it will be okay, breathe.” 

Our patients are hungry but they can’t eat because the oxygen flow is too much and may cause them to aspirate their food in their lungs, so they lie in bed hungry until we can slowly titrate, or lower the oxygen rate. Too weak to move, eat or breathe, and no family with them at their weakest moment. That is what a patient feels like. 

I do not wish this disease on anyone. Believe me, COVID is real. It is Torture. It is Misery. And it can be Deadly. 

We have been nursing this virus since March and we are tired. 

I share this with you to help you make a decision when you are invited to that dinner, get together, sleep over, party, baby shower, or whatever it may be. The long drawn-out sheltering in place, remote learning and outrageous daily deaths are occurring because of our inabilities and impatience to deal with the acceptance that We Must Wear a Mask. We must wash our hands. We must social distance. Or else you must and inevitably will get COVID. It’s invisible. Presume that everyone has it. Protect yourself. It will be over sooner if we change our habits now! I share this with you not to be critiqued but to share with you inside of the battlefield, with hopes that you have a better understanding of what could potentially happen to you and your loved ones. 

Stay safe, everyone, and respect and protect your frontline workers who are working tirelessly for you all. Keep us in your prayers. 

We pray for you all tirelessly.

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Betsy Mount

About Betsy Mount

Betsy Pua'ala Mount has been a registered nurse at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital since 1999.

7 thoughts on “A busy and disheartening night with COVID patients 'Stay safe, everyone, and respect and protect your frontline workers who are working tirelessly for you all.'

  1. We bless and, so so admire ALL the dedicated frontline people! Your dedication and skill are all that stands between the very ill and certain death. 😢😪 what can we do to help beside using ALL the safety measures? Stay strong and safe as you do the incredible work of love.

  2. You are God’s blessings and Angels to so many. I am so concerned about your families also. The danger that goes home with you and I get angry that people think this isn’t real. Yet,you put yourself in there taking care of them. God Bless each and everyone of you. If I can do something for your families for Christmas please PLEASE CONTACT ME. 831-601-0796

  3. Thank you for everything you are doing and all your hard work. But please stop shaming individuals and blaming individuals. This is a collective failure of government at all levels, down to the Board of Supervisors of the County of Monterey. Many many people begged them from the start of this to implement testing and tracing while there was still the chance we could contain this virus. The Board of Supervisors decided it wasn’t enough of a priority to spend the money to get this established early in Monterey County. Furthermore, the Supervisors have refused and continue to refuse to make the Agricultural industry do its part to control the spread within its employees. So now we are left with a situation where people are forced again to close their businesses, lose their livelihoods and paychecks and told that it is because of their individual selfish acts. This is because of the failure of our government, from the County up, to properly coordinate and act to fight this virus. I am sorry that you, like many many other front line workers are bearing this difficult burden. I am also so sorry for the families who will soon be evicted and the children who will forever be intellectually stymied due to 1+years of no education. But to simply blame individuals for not wearing masks and staying home for going on 10 months is oversimplifying a complicated situation and just not accurate.

  4. You and your co workers are hero’s. We need to know what are first responders nurses and doctors are going thru because there’s people out there that think it’s fake news. God bless you , god bless the ill. . My heart aches and I pray for all of you.

  5. Thank you so much Nurse Betsy for your article and for your hard work. Healthcare providers are genuine heroes during this pandemic nightmare. Thank you so much for your sacrifice. Unfortunately, A great many people ignore the healthcare guidelines of wearing a mask, social distancing, and washing hands. I see many people in active defiance of public health protocol. Tens of thousands have needlessly died. I pray for a deeper awareness that we are all in this together. Thank you so much for your article and all your hard work – aka Beth Day

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