Acadiana - Today marks one year since the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Louisiana and for frontline health care workers, the pandemic has taken a toll as they work to protect the public and treat those with the virus.
"It was very hard for me, it was very sad for me when we would lose patients. But I try to keep my spirits up because as a senior nurse, I didn’t want to seem afraid and keep my emotions in check because I know other people rely on me," Lori Louviere and ICU nurse at Our Lady lady of Lourdes said.
On March 9, 2020 The Louisiana Department of Health confirmed the first case of covid-19 in the state. For nurses, it meant learning as much as they could about it and quickly.
"The first thing is we tried to educate ourselves as much as you can. Because it was so new, there was very little scientific knowledge out there," Louviere said.
Once the virus made its way to Acadiana, Louviere says that’s when reality sunk in and she knew that she was about to endure the biggest challenge of her career so far.
"We were very afraid. Because people were dying from this and so I know for me, I was worried about me getting it, I was worried about taking it home to my family."
She says working on the frontlines during the pandemic has taken a toll both mentally and emotionally. "Mentally, it’s exhausting because you're being hyper vigilant at all times and you’re looking out for yourself, you’re looking out for your coworkers. Then emotionally, just emotionally taking care of these very very sick people who are here technically alone in the hospital," she said.
But with vaccines now available, and Governor Edwards expanding eligiblity requirements for the vaccine on Tuesday, Louviere says she’s optimistic that there is a light at the end of the tunnel as long as they work as a team and continue to educate the community.
"It’s been really hard for us but I think that we stick together, we look out for each other. And not just for our coworkers and nurses, everyone in the healthcare team that is involved in the unit. But looking out for the community and keeping people informed too," Louviere said.