Nurse gives insight into COVID-19 pandemic

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Maria Morales, a registered nurse for San Joaquin County, has some thoughts and tips on how to stay safe and healthy during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders.

“Social distancing is an important part during the season to fight COVID-19 virus,” said Morales.

COVID-19 has put countries across the globe on lockdown, shutting down beaches, amusement parks, celebrations and department store shopping. Numerous states across America have been affected, California being one of them.

Listen to an audio interview with Maria Morales.

This nationwide lockdown has affected everyone’s life in one way or another. As schools shut down, and businesses are being closed, health care workers like Morales are also facing major changes to what used to be a normal day on the clock.

“We’re more focused on screening patients, screening visitors that come to the clinic,” she said.

Morales sees the recent nationwide protests against the COVID-19 response, like the one in Huntington Beach, as a potential obstacle to finding a cure as soon as possible.

 “There are still too many people out there that say it’s a ‘hoax.’ There’s still too many people that think that the virus does not exist or is not as ‘bad’ as what they see on TV,” said Morales.

COVID-19 is affecting everyone, especially essential workers, unemployed people at the moment and the front-line health care workers that are trying their best to keep the virus contained.

Finding a cure or vaccination to keep this virus contained is not something scientists and medical experts can make up overnight. It takes extensive research, testing and procedures to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the vaccination on humans.

As for the quarantine which keeps on being extended, Morales said she believes it is at our best interest for our health, and the safety of others to stay in quarantine until there is an approved vaccination for the COVID-19 virus.

“I think it should be lifted when there is a ‘cure’ or an antiviral [treatment] that can help us through the symptoms and through the process of the virus better, or when there’s a vaccine,” said Morales.

Life after quarantine will never be the same. Many essential businesses are taking extra precautions since they are the most highly concentrated areas of people in this pandemic. Groceries stores like Costco are making it required to have masks in the store, and many others are taking similar measures like constantly wiping down grocery carts after every customer and providing a layer of protection for their employees with plexiglass between them and the customers at the register.

Morales also has some concerns for her employees as the pandemic keeps stretching on.

“We’re trying to prevent patients from coming to the clinics as it would protect them and our employees from getting COVID,” said Morales

Morales takes her work very seriously because not only is she helping many people who need it, but she is a wife, mother of three as well as taking care of her parents.

“Me being in health care, I think it’s very disrespectful for health care workers,” said Morales as she explained her viewpoint on the protests against the virus response.

COVID-19 has affected everyone in one way or another. Our doctors and nurses who are out in the front lines, battling this virus head on with bruise on their face need support more than ever. The best way we can show our appreciation is staying home and washing our hands.

“Please stay safe, stay home it’s better for everybody in the long run,” said Morales.