‘We’re exhausted’: Healthcare workers prepare for potential surge as COVID delta variant spreads

‘It leaves you confused and really short of breath,’ COVID patient says

Healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID pandemic are bracing for another potential surge in cases.
Healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID pandemic are bracing for another potential surge in cases.

Healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID pandemic are bracing for another potential surge in cases.

Local 4 went inside the ICU of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Livingston to visit patient Pearl, 71, in April. She was hospitalized with COVID. She agreed to speak to Local 4 from her bed so others can understand how serious the coronavirus is.

“It leaves you confused and really short of breath,” Peal said. “I could hardly walk five feet without passing out.”

Now, four months later, Pearl is still on oxygen and fighting to get her life back. The nurses that worked with her are preparing for another surge in cases as the delta variant spreads.

Dominique Gjokaj works at Henry Ford Hospital Macomb, which currently has the most COVID patients in that hospital group. At the Macomb hospital, they never stopped preparing for the worst, even when they had zero COVID patients.

Dr. Justin Skrzynski has been running the COVID unit for Beaumont, Royal Oak, since the beginning of the pandemic. He said he has seen the toll COVID takes on patients, families and healthcare workers.

He said he is frustrated by the people who refuse to get vaccinated. He said the severity of their illness can be avoided.

Read: Data: Michigan’s vulnerability ‘high’ as COVID sweeps across US again


About the Author:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.