I am a registered nurse in Johnson County. We are the COVID-19 “hot spot” in our state. We are at the very beginning of a steep uphill climb in cases and inevitable deaths.
We have the unfortunate privilege of seeing what this virus has done worldwide and in our own nation. We have seen what helps slow the spread, and what does not. The anticipation of what is to come is terrible.
We do not have enough Personal Protective Equipment. We need much, much more. Ideally we would be wearing a new protective mask, gown and gloves for each and every patient. This is the best thing we can do as health care providers to prevent spread from patient to patient, staff, our families and the community.
Nurses across the country are being forced to work with no PPE if patients are asymptomatic. We know that people can be asymptomatic for two weeks yet still transmit the virus. Nurses across the country are being forced to reuse masks far beyond their reasonable limits and have even resorted to using trash bags to protect themselves.
People are dying because of this. We need more PPE. We need a shelter-in-place order. Without those two things, our leaders are telling us they want us to die.
Make adequate PPE available and make shelter in place mandatory. I urge Gov. Kim Reynolds, state Rep. Amy Nielsen and state Sen. Kevin Kinney to act now.