MIAMI—After ending a 12-hour shift on Sunday, an intensive-care unit nurse at Baptist Hospital was ready to put August behind her.
The nurse, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she did not have permission from the hospital to speak to reporters, said the past month was the worst of the pandemic so far—echoing the horrific hard numbers in the state.
“It’s horrible,” the nurse told The Daily Beast. “I’ve never bagged so many thirtysomething-year-olds, leaving behind young kids, pregnant wives.”
“The screams when we tell them their loved ones didn’t make it,” the nurse added. “We’re exhausted.”
Across much of America, frontline hospital workers are going through similar stress and fatigue as they grapple with a devastating coronavirus surge primarily fueled by the Delta variant and vaccine hesitancy. But in Florida, experts and medical workers say, a uniquely stubborn and denialist Gov. Ron DeSantis has helped transform hot vaxx summer into a summer from hell.
With skyrocketing numbers of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths this summer, any optimism that the Sunshine State was rounding the corner on the pandemic has been laid to waste. And September may not offer any respite.
According to a Miami Herald analysis of recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, Florida saw at least 894 people die from COVID-19 in August, most of them in the past fortnight. According to The New York Times’ COVID-19 tracker, an average of 262 Floridians a day drew their last breaths during the seven days ending Aug. 31, representing about a sixth of the nationwide total. Read more…