Aurora officials were brought to tears Thursday as Mayor Richard Irvin recited a nurse's viral plea after the area saw a rapid coronavirus surge.
Irvin shared the viral written plea of nurse Carol Williams, who works in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora, and her experience with the pandemic on the forefront.
The mayor asked council members to examine the nurse's eyes and face, finding fatigue, pain and frustration, as he recited the following:
Just stop.....Stop thinking this is just like the flu, it isn’t. Stop telling me the survival rate so it’s not a big deal, it is a big deal. Stop saying healthcare workers signed up for this, we didn’t. Stop ignoring science based recommendations of masking, social distancing, hand hygiene, and not gathering in large crowds, they work. Stop kidding yourself that this isn’t going to affect you or someone you love or know, it will. Stop thinking that only unhealthy people with preexisting medical conditions or elderly people are the ones dying, they aren’t the only ones.Stop being confident that if you get sick from anything, the resources to save you will be readily available, that may not be in this stage of the pandemic. Stop believing hospitals aren’t being overrun because of the massive influx of Covid patients at this moment, they are. Stop thinking if they make makeshift areas to house more patients there will be properly trained staff to care for them, there may not be. Stop believing that all frontline healthcare workers are properly protected with PPE, many across the country STILL are not. Stop ignoring that healthcare workers are also getting sick themselves, it’s happening. Stop believing that doctors are profiting from this pandemic, they aren’t. Stop politicizing this virus, it’s a public health crisis. If you are taking this pandemic seriously, doing the best you can to be safe and protect others, THANK YOU. If you are not, please start now. I am begging you!
Irvin continued to explain what the nurse phrased as feeling "defeated" and "mentally exhausted." The plea asked people to consider how it feels to call a patients' family for the last time with them or to put a patient on a ventilator because the healthcare team has no other options.
"Imagine being the nurse crying with your patient when they realize that everything we’re doing to help them STILL may not be enough and death is a real possibility," her post read.
Several council members, including the nurse, were visibly moved to tears by the end of the reading.
“Hearing my words read by Mayor Irvin, I was brought to tears listening,” Williams said.
Aurora has seen a surge of coronavirus cases over the last month, hitting 10,000 cases this week and 155 deaths, with 4,000 cases diagnosed in the last month.
The area prepares to enter Tier 3 of resurgence mitigations Friday, along with the remainder of the state, according to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.