Texas ICU nurse weighs in on Texas lifting COVID restrictions: 'I'm scared of what this is going to look like'
Brittany Smart, an ICU nurse in Texas, showed up on Cuomo prime time after her shift Tuesday, hours after Governor Greg Abbott lifted COVID-19 restrictions in the state, including lifting the mask mandate and allowing all companies to do so 100 percent to work. Smart thinks this is not a good idea.
"I feel like we've finally reached a point where we all started to breathe a little easier. We saw a light at the end of the tunnel and I feel like that has been turned off," said Smart. "I think we're all pretty exhausted and I'm scared of what it will look like."
Smart went to New York City to help when COVID-19 ravaged the city at the start of the pandemic, comparing what she saw there to a developing country. But she told herself that the situation in New York was unique, only to be devastated and return home four months later and witness a similar crisis in Texas.
New COVID cases have dropped significantly in much of the country (although the numbers have gradually reached a plateau), but for Smart and its staff, that doesn't mean they aren't in the dark. It just means that they are no longer concerned with the nightmare situation they recently found themselves in, like so many healthcare workers across the country.
“We're still taking precautions because we still have COVID patients. It's not that the COVID patients are gone, it's not that they aren't dying, it's just that we don't have a refrigerator truck outside need, "said Smart." Our morgues have finally slacked off a bit so that we can actually look after these patients after they die and bury them properly. We don't have any more people in the hallways on stretchers. You know we're not bringing any now Corpses in empty spaces. So we breathe a little easier, but it's not better, it's just - it's finally relaxing a bit. It's a little nerve-wracking to see we're going to take the masks off. I don't think it's now safe is to do that. "
Although things have eased for now, Smart fears that with the restrictions being lifted as new COVID variants keep popping up, things could get very bad again very soon.
"My biggest fear is that we will lose more people and lose them faster because this variant is much stronger," said Smart, "and it will spread much faster."
Cuomo Prime Time airs at 9 p.m. on weekdays. on CNN.
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