‘I Can’t Keep Going’: ICU Nurse Shares Grim Account As Virus Surges In Mississippi

A Mississippi nurse said she lacks the strength to keep working in the hospital intensive care unit as COVID-19 continues to surge, predominantly among people who are unvaccinated.

“We have a solution by getting the vaccine and wearing our masks and doing what we need to do,” Jen Sartin, an ICU nurse at Singing River Health System in Ocean Springs, told MSNBC in an interview at the hospital. “We’re tired. Nurses are so tired. It’s getting to the point where we need help. We’ve been helping as much as we can and we need help from our community.”

Sartin said she barely had any strength left to keep working and had decided to switch jobs to protect her well-being and her family.

“Honestly, I’ve given so much I can’t keep going. That’s why I decided to move to a different department, because it’s affected me in ways that I never thought possible,” she said.

“And it is not going to get better, and I have to protect myself and my family and my sanity. Because if, you know people aren’t doing what they need to do to protect us, and you know, we’re human. We’re not robots. We’re not machines. We can’t continue to do this forever at this capacity.”

COVID-19 cases have risen sharply in Mississippi over the past month, spiking nearly tenfold. Hospitals are filling up with COVID-19 patients, and the state is approaching a record number of daily hospitalizations.

Despite a recent uptick in people getting vaccinated, Mississippi still has the lowest vaccination rate in the country, with just 35% of its population fully vaccinated.

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said Wednesday he expected deaths to rise, and that those deaths would predominantly be among unvaccinated people. The majority of new cases ― 97% ― are in unvaccinated people, he said. 

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