Loosening of mask mandates and other restrictions may make it seem the pandemic is almost over.
But St. Charles wants the community to know we are certainly not yet out of the woods.
“Actually, this wave is a little bit more concerning. We are seeing younger patients getting affected by this,” said Emily Kroytz, a registered nurse in Charles Bend’s ICU. “To be honest, they seem sicker. They are not getting better as quick as they used to.”
“We are crazy busy. These patients are crazy sick. I feel like it’s worse than it was,” said Emma Lang, RN, St. Charles.
Both nurses appeared in a video St. Charles shared over the weekend showcasing the continued difficulties facing frontline workers at the hospital.
Kroytz says she chuckles when she hears people say the pandemic is over.
As of Monday, St. Charles had 47 COVID patients; eight were in the ICU and seven were on ventilators.
“It’s not easy working here. It’s not easy seeing the suffering. It’s not easy being in there. It’s hard on us when we go home, we are tired. We are sad. It’s scary,” Kroytz said.
Right now, there are 2,874 active COVID patients in Deschutes County, and as of last week, 26% of them were in the Redmond area.
Redmond has led the state in COVID cases for the past two weeks.
Central Oregon Daily News visited Redmon’s main post office to see what people think.
“I say people should get their shots,” said Pat Richardson. “I’ve had both of mine. My husband has both of his. I know people who don’t want them and I don’t understand.”
“This whole pandemic has been politicized. It’s hard to take it as seriously as everybody wants us to,” said Donna. “I’m still doing my part. I’m not going to be a rebel and I don’t want to get it either.”
Redmond Mayor George Endicott said the one single thing that people can do is get vaccinated, “and I would strongly encourage that for everyone.”
Deschutes County Health Department officials say vaccinations are easier than ever to get at primary care providers, urgent cares, pharmacies and community pop-up clinics
Nurses now are imploring people in the community to get their vaccines.
“Please, from me to you, get your vaccine,” said Jake Tavita, a St. Charles Rehab Therapy Tech. “It keeps everyone safe. It keeps your family members safe. I want you safe. I don’t want to see you here.”