(CNN) – Amy Matson, who was sitting in her hospital room in Patton Rouge, Louisiana, found it difficult to breathe as she described how tired Covid-19 was.
“I’m here now, I’m angry at myself,” she told CNN between deep, deliberate breaths. “Because she was not vaccinated.”
Matson, 44, is in the Covit-19 intensive care unit at our Lady of Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge. He is receiving oxygen therapy and hopes to be well on his way to avoid getting stuck on the ventilator.
With the increase of Govt-19 in states across the country, the Louisiana Delta has been hit hard by the most recent events that have been largely driven by diversity.
According to a CNN analysis by Johns Hopkins University, 77 cases were reported per 100,000 residents each day in the past week.
Louisiana State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Conder told CNN John King on Wednesday that “feeling like we’re really lost six or seven months’ progress is a kick in the stomach.”
Conder attributed the increase to “perfect storm” factors, including the delta variant, which is believed to be highly contagious, and “unacceptably low vaccine coverage.”
Louisiana’s vaccination rate is the lowest in the country, with 37% of residents fully vaccinated as of Wednesday, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is the fifth lowest in the country and one of the six states of Louisiana, with less than 38% of residents fully vaccinated.
Ochsner, the state’s largest health organization, saw a 700% increase in Govt-19 patients last month and a 75% increase last week, officials said at a news conference Wednesday.
And the vast majority of those patients – 88%, according to Ochsner Health CEO Warner Thomas – were not vaccinated.
“It affects people who are not vaccinated completely disproportionately,” Thomas said. “They’re the people who see most of us coming to the hospital.”
Matson did not object to the vaccination, he said, adding that he did not. Each time he planned to get vaccinated, “something came up,” he said.
“I have this feeling … if I had been vaccinated I would not have been admitted to the hospital,” Mattson said.
Some Govt-19 patients deny that the virus is real
Louisiana is one of only two states, with Arkansas, each district or parish, known as Louisiana jurisdictions, which have “high” levels of social coverage of Govt-19. CDC.
That means there are 100 or more cases or test positive rates of 10% or more per 100,000 people in each church.
Hospitalization in Louisiana skyrockets, with 1,524 people hospitalized statewide with Govt-19 Louisiana Department of Health. On July 1, 259 Govt-19 patients were admitted to the hospital.
This increase is again forcing hospitals to prioritize the treatment of COVID-19 patients over others.
Looking at the early days of the epidemic, The Lady of the Lake Medical Center on Monday stopped planning emergency surgeries that would require an inpatient bed.
Medical director Dr. Catherine O’Neill said the hospital’s problem was not lack of space. Our Lady of the Lake is the largest regional medical center in the state, he said. But he does not have the staff to treat everyone.
Patients are coming in waves, O’Neill told CNN, who called the hospital reserve workers and forced them to close other wards.
“The load is getting heavier,” he said.
As of Thursday, there were 140 Govt-19 patients in our Lady of the Lake, 30 of whom were admitted within the previous 24 hours, which is the highest since the outbreak began, a hospital spokesman said.
Nearly 50% of patients are under 50 years of age. There are fifty patients in the ICU, 11 of whom are children.
Morgan Bobbin, a registered nurse who has worked in the hospital’s Govt-19 ICU since March 2020, told CNN that the ICU population is growing rapidly with younger and sicker patients.
“They are my age, the age of my co-workers: 30, 40,” he said. “I was afraid for the health of my own and my community.”
Still others continue to deny that Covid-19 is real and fall prey to widespread misinformation. And Bobbin has patients who insist that the covit-positive diagnosis is false.
“I have patients who have refused to have Govt until induction,” he said. “They think they have the flu. They think we’ve lying to them.”
The doctor says no place is safe
O’Neill said the hospital now considers all cases to be of the delta type and that the only place where people are safe from the virus is in their homes. Even outside, “there is no security anymore,” he said.
“If you get involved in this community, you have to be vaccinated and you have to wear a mask because we are suffering from covid disease,” he said.
Another Lady of the Lake patient, Corsin Baker, went to her friend’s house for her birthday and said she believed she had contracted the virus while sitting on the screened porch.
“I close my eyes and feel like I can’t breathe,” said 21-year-old Baker. “Something in my body was saying, ‘Hey, you need to breathe, get up.’
Baker has a kidney condition, he said, and has now been advised by his doctor against vaccination.
“It’s so bad because people with autoimmune disease like me can’t go anywhere right now because everyone gets sick, no matter what you do,” Baker said.
Ronnie Smith, another patient, was thinking about getting vaccinated. But instead he got Govit-19. Smith, 47, believes he has contracted a virus from a friend in an outdoor barbecue.
“Two days after the event, I fell to the ground and could not get up,” he said.
In a statement this week, Louisiana Governor John Bell Edwards called on those who deserve to be vaccinated, saying all three vaccines are “safe and effective” and the best tools to end the epidemic.
“For anyone wondering when this will end, the answer is simple: when we decide to do whatever it takes to do that,” the governor said.
When asked what he would say to people who have not made a decision about the vaccine, Matson said: “Jump. Run. Bring your family with you.
“I don’t want anyone else to end up like me,” Madson said, “especially when the vaccine is so much easier now.”
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