‘We have a right to look after each other’: NC travel nurse details impact of Delta variant across U.S.

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 5:18 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising across the country.

Right now, more than 1,000 people are hospitalized in North Carolina.

Health care workers, like travel ICU nurse Johanna Green, are worried.

Green is from Cornelius but travels across the country to help treat COVID-19 patients in ICUs across the country.

WBTV spoke with her in April 2020 when she was working in the epicenter of the pandemic in New York.

She says more than a year and a half later, she’s preparing for another wave from the Delta variant.

Right now, she’s at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey.

“It’s been ongoing and there’s not been too big of a break,” Green said. “That can take a toll and for me, that has personally.”

She says reaching out for help allows her to keep helping patients.

“I reached out to my therapist and I’m okay with saying that,” she said. “I told other nurses, we can’t do it on our own. PTSD or any kind of depression, we need to come together and talk about it. Exhaustion is one of the big things that we’re seeing because we’re working long hours and are short-staffed in all the hospitals.”

Green says the Delta variant is showing concerning trends.

“Hospitalizations admissions is increasing and it’s been a mixture of them being vaccinated and unvaccinated,” Green said. “It’s a mixture.”

In North Carolina, health officials say 94 percent of recent COVID-19 cases are unvaccinated people.

“While this disease is still with us, the more people get vaccinated the less it has to affect our day to day lives,” Governor Roy Cooper said during a press conference last week.

While Green fights the virus in our country’s hospitals, she hopes North Carolinians are doing their part to protect each other.

“Let’s really look out for the rights of others,” she said. “We do have our own rights to do stuff, but we also have a right to look after each other in the community to eradicate these things in our community.”

Green says she will stay in New Jersey for as long as she is needed and then she will travel to whatever hospital needs an extra hand the most.

Her four children live in Cornelius, staying with family and Green’s best friend.

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