We are scared of seeing what we saw, and this time affecting the younger population. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire career. — Alix Zacharski, a nurse manager at Jackson, Florida’s largest public hospital
We are scared of seeing what we saw, and this time affecting the younger population. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire career. — Alix Zacharski, a nurse manager at Jackson, Florida’s largest public hospital
Inside a Florida Covid I.C.U., Hopes Fade as Patients Surge In
Doctors and nurses in a Florida hospital thought the onslaught of coronavirus admissions had ended. Now they need more intensive care beds.

Alix Zacharski, a nurse manager, went to check on one of her patients inside the Covid-19 intensive care unit at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital on a recent afternoon, hoping that the patient, who had been struggling to breathe on her own, would be a little better. But these days inside the Covid I.C.U., almost everything is worse.

... Covid-19 patients have never stopped arriving at Medical I.C.U.-B., the unit that Ms. Zacharski has tended since March 2020. But the onslaught of admissions had slowed. For a glorious period, the unit had shrunk to three patients. The end of the pandemic seemed within reach.

Now patients fill the I.C.U.’s eight beds again. A second unit, with 50 additional beds, opened this week.


The resurgence of the coronavirus has burdened hospitals anew across the country, with a rush of patients fueled by the virus’s virulent Delta variant catching doctors off guard. Florida has reported the highest daily average hospitalizations in the nation, 36 for every 100,000 people over the past two weeks, according to data compiled by The New York Times. In Jacksonville, hospitals have more Covid patients than ever before, despite the availability of vaccines.

Health workers like Ms. Zacharski feel disbelief that they must endure another surge. She remains tired from the previous one. And she cannot get her head around having to treat patients the same age as her adult children who are gasping for breath because of a preventable infection.

Last year, Ms. Zacharski feared the unknown. How bad would SARS-CoV-2 be? Could doctors treat it? What would the darkest days of the pandemic look like?

Now she is armed with hard-earned knowledge from the past 14 months — and vaccinated, as a sticker on her hospital badge boasts. But the virus continues to move into uncharted territory.

“We are scared of seeing what we saw, and this time affecting the younger population,” she said. “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire career.”
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/30/us/coronavirus-florida-hospitals.html