AKRON, Ohio — An Akron nurse issued a sobering plea calling for Ohioans to take the coronavirus seriously.
Stacey Morris, a registered nurse at Akron General Hospital, posted a lengthy message on Facebook Saturday in which she begged readers to practice COVID-19 protocols while reflecting on the reality she witnesses daily at the hospital.
“Our numbers had tripled here in the hospital of our COVID cases,” Morris said. “And our unit was the primary COVID unit of the hospital for the medical patients.”
Morris shared her plea online after she said last week’s increase in COVID-19 cases hit her hospital’s COVID-19 unit “like a semi-truck.”
“Just seeing those numbers increase as rapidly as they did and the need for the beds and the amount of care that those patients needed so quickly,” Morris said. “I felt that I needed to let people know to be careful and just kind of know what's happening out here on the units here in the medical setting.”
In the Facebook post shared nearly 700 times in two days, Morris said “it feels safe where you are because you have not really seen it.”
“I had been seeing a lot of posts on social media recently about people calling it blown out of proportion or even a fake and not real,” Morris said. “It was really kind of that punch to the gut for me and my team here and everybody here that I work with.”
Morris said a large number of patients she has treated for the virus contracted it while spending time with family.
“We see a lot of people within families that are kind of giving it to each other when they're getting together for parties within the home or a little get-together like that,” Morris said.
With the holidays just around the corner, a potential continued surge is top-of-mind for healthcare workers like Morris.
“I’m worried about the holidays coming up. All the nurses and the techs are really worried about the holidays coming up,” Morris said.
Morris is pleading with Ohioans to take proper COVID-19 precautions while celebrating holidays by keeping social circles small and wearing masks.
“Be careful, Be courteous of others and take care of yourselves. Take care of your family and make good decisions,” Morris said. “In the end, I think it's something that's going to help keep people safe and healthy.”