COVID-19 intensive care unit nurse Felicia Croft shared an emotional plea with ABC News about the recent delta variant surge in her home state of Louisiana.
“I can say today was probably one of the most emotionally hard days since the pandemic started, the delta wave that we’re seeing now,” Croft said. “People are younger and sicker, and we’re intubating and losing people that are my age and younger, people with kids that are my kids’ age that are never going to see their kids graduate.”
Croft shared a personal story about how her 14-year-old daughter, Macy, came home to tell her that her friend’s two parents were in the ICU with COVID-19, and one of them “may not go home.”
“As a nurse, to know that if you can’t get these two people at home, that their kids will be orphaned … their 14-year-old could be an orphan. And to know that my daughter might come to me when she gets that call and say, ‘Mom, why didn’t you save them?’ I cannot even explain how that feels, as a nurse and as a mom,” Croft said.
As of Monday, Louisiana currently holds the nation’s highest case rate per 100,000 residents and more than 1,400 patients are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. That figure marks the highest number of patients receiving care since January, according to federal data.
Croft, who works at Willis-Knighton Medical Center in Shreveport, Louisiana, told ABC News’ “Start Here” podcast that in the past few weeks, she has seen both unvaccinated and vaccinated people become infected.
“Typically, the unvaccinated are much sicker and they progressed much further along and deteriorate much, much more versus the people that are vaccinated,” said Croft.
Although there are an increasing number of these “breakthrough” cases among vaccinated people, Croft encouraged the vaccine. She said it saves lives.
“I’ve had a lot of people that are like, ‘So I thought the vaccine was supposed to make it so we wouldn’t get covid, what’s the point?’” said Croft, “[But] our patients that are vaccinated are going home to their families… versus patients that are unvaccinated and we’re seeing more of them not go home to their family.”
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards reinstated a state-wide indoor mask mandate on Monday to curb the high number of cases – making it the first state to do so.
Hilary Scheinuk/The Advocate via APGov. John Bel Edwards speaks during a news conference at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge, La., June 17, 2021.
Croft said that she understands people’s frustration with masks and the skepticism surrounding the vaccine, but ultimately both are for the greater good.
“I support everybody being able to make a choice on vaccination, but I also think that if we’re not going to vaccinate, that we need to take other steps to protect others,” she said. “The vaccine is helpful and people don’t understand that. Even though it’s not 100% prevention, it is a help.”
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