Local respiratory therapist says no one should underestimate COVID-19

Local respiratory therapist says no one should underestimate COVID-19

MAIDEN, N.C. — Channel 9′s Glenn Counts spoke to a local respiratory therapist who was in New York when it was the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. Now, New York hasn’t hit 20% of positive cases in two months.

Daphne Mitchell lives in Maiden and works for Novant Health in the area, but when she heard about the struggles in New York in April, she volunteered to go up there and help.

In the weeks she was there, she saw what COVID-19 can do. Mitchell said she was surprised that when she got there, the hospital she was assigned to handled nothing but COVID-19 patients.

Content Continues Below

“So on my first day when I got there, I didn’t realize that the hospital was full of COVID-positive patients -- like the whole entire time, everybody is COVID,” she said.

She said it was difficult to deal with so much sickness and death. Not just for her but also for the doctors and nurses she was trying to help.

“The staff that I worked with, the nurses and doctors, they felt overwhelmed and, at the same time, they felt lost. Sometimes, you know you couldn’t help it,” Mitchell said.

She hopes that kind of suffering doesn’t follow her back to the Carolinas.

Mitchell said no one should underestimate the coronavirus and that if people go outside, they should wear a mask to avoid the kind of suffering she has seen.

“I truly believe that wearing a mask will keep me from getting it or will keep you from getting it. And I believe it helps protect and saves people’s lives,” she said.

Mitchell spent almost two months in New York and she dealt with shortages like all the other doctors and nurses. For example, she only got one N-95 mask per week.

Tips from professionals on managing mental health during coronavirus outbreak