‘I wish you could see what we see’: Ballad Health nursing director shares difficulty of working in COVID-19 units

Local Coronavirus Coverage

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The COVID-19 pandemic has been incredibly difficult for those fighting it on the front lines.

During Ballad Health’s briefing on Wednesday, one of those health care workers addressed the Tri-Cities and begged the region to help stop the spread of the virus.

Alison Johnson is the Nursing Director at the Johnson City Medical Center and oversees COVID-19 units there.

In the video above, Johnson read her thoughts in a poem to describe the struggle of health care workers in the region and the frustration they have felt as some individuals negate the seriousness of COVID-19.

During her time speaking, Johnson first thanked the community members who have done their part to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Johnson then spoke about the trials that nurses and other medical staff have faced day in and day out during the pandemic.

“I wish you could see what we see, I wish you could see what we feel,” Johnson said. “Every day is like a battlefield. How, oh how could this be real?”

Johnson said the staff in the COVID-19 units are constantly adjusting to make use of resources, delivering diagnoses and having end-of-life discussions.

“Some days we cry on the way to work, others just on the way home,” Johnson said. “When you’re doing all the right things yet you feel so alone.”

During her time, Johnson addressed people in the community who she said do not grasp the seriousness of the virus and see refusal to wear a mask as a “badge of honor.”

“When we see your posts and we hear you talk, it undermines and belittles our calling. Though we try to brush it off, sometimes we just can’t and our walls feel like they are falling,” Johnson said.

After voicing the difficulty of seeing people ignore health guidance, Johnson said it’s “lucky for you we are resilient.”

“Please open your mind and hearts to believe,” Johnson pleaded. “We’re doing our part, but until you do yours, there’ll be not a moment of reprieve.”

You can view the entire press conference below:

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