“You know, Mercy does a great job with keeping floors staffed and things like that, but it is hard because people are feeling the strain”
ST. LOUIS — For frontline workers, The pandemic doesn’t stop because the calendar says it’s a holiday.
“Its always all hands on deck because you don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Richelle Herron. “The holidays already has its own set of things that bring people to the hospital and to add to that and say now we have this pandemic happening and people are willfully contributing to it by not taking the proper precautions.”
Herron is a nurse in Mercy’s medical progressive care unit. She worked Thanksgiving, and like many of her coworkers, she’s putting in overtime.
“We are experiencing staffing issues. You know, Mercy does a great job with keeping floors staffed and things like that, but it is hard because people are feeling the strain.”
5 On Your Side spoke with Richelle back in March. She was still recovering from COVID-19 and had recently lost her grandmother.
“We had a few more people in my immediate family to pass from COVID. This is my first Thanksgiving without her.”
She was in nursing school then but has since graduated and is now a nurse full time.
“It really prepared me to give that compassion to my patients but it’s really hard to see now people not taking it seriously,” she said.
On Monday, Mercy Hospital St. Louis granted 5 On Your Side access to its ICU.
We saw the strain the pandemic was putting on health care workers — many of whom Richelle calls friends.
Health care workers are urging people to stay home to avoid another surge after the holidays.
“It might not be ideal, you know it’s better than the alternative, than getting someone sick, just propagating this thing. And it can be nipped in the bud if people take it more seriously.”