By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
“People are getting tired of the message,” Commissioner Patti Adair said at Monday’s Deschutes County commissioner meeting. “You only get to live once.”
“I think we all feel the same way,” Commissioner Phil Henderson said. “No one asked us what the governor should do.”
County commissioners appeared frustrated on Monday of the governor’s two-week statewide freeze to slow the spread of COVID.
Tiffany Simmons, a St. Charles nurse and a member of the Oregon Nurses Association, found many of the commissioners’ comments disheartening.
“These types of statements are very irresponsible and frustrating and disrespectful to the work that we do,” Simmons said. “I would expect more from our community leaders.”
At the meeting, Commissioner Phil Henderson said he didn’t understand why COVID was being treated differently than other illnesses.
At St. Charles, Simmons works on the medical services unit, where she has eight COVID patients on her floor.
“That’s eight beds that are taken up by this one virus, and that’s kind of uncommon,” Simmons said. “I would just maybe urge them to give a little more support to the health care community.”
Simmons said working with COVID patients takes an emotional toll.
She’s a single mother of a ten-year-old son, and she worries about who would take care of him if she got sick with the virus.
“As a nurse it’s hard to go out and work your shift and then you stop at the store and you hear people talking about how ‘this is garbage,’ ‘I can’t believe we’re going to to this,’ ‘it’s not a big deal,'” Simmons said. “All these things take an emotional toll and hearing that from leaders in our community was especially disheartening.”