An intensive care nurse on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic has warned young people are being struck down by the virus and said seeing people flouting coronavirus lockdown rules felt like a ‘slap in the face’.
Joanne Morrell says 99% of the patients she has seen at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI) have coronavirus, as hospitals across the country struggle to cope with the growing number of Covid-19 cases.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain today the frontline nurse warned: ‘We’re seeing young people, normally fit and well, who are being struck down and are now unwell.
‘When you hear about NHS staff dying it’s like one of your own family has died. It really hits home like a punch in the chest.’
Joanne Morrell is an intensive care nurse at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, she is warning 99% of the patients she sees on a daily basis have Covid-19, many of whom were previously fit and healthy young people who have been struck down by the virus
Speaking on Good Morning Britain on Monday, Huddersfield nurse Joanne Morrell said it was ‘heartbreaking’ speaking to families of Covid-19 patients
The Huddersfield mother-of-two was speaking after a weekend of sunshine saw some people ignore guidelines to stay at home and instead go sunbathing at parks and beaches.
The 47-year-old said today: ‘We’re going to work, putting ourselves out there on the front line. When people are flouting the advice they’re given it’s like a slap in the face. It’s honestly like they’re saying: “So what? It doesn’t matter.”‘.
At least 23 people have died with coronavirus at HRI and its sister hospital Calderdale Royal Hospital so far.
Staff are facing mounting pressure as families are kept apart from loved ones.
Ms Morell explained what it was like trying to communicate with families over the phone while standing in the middle of ward frantically trying to help a growing number of patients.
At least 23 people have died with coronavirus at HRI and its sister hospital Calderdale Royal Hospital during the global pandemic so far
Huddersfield nurse Joanna Morrell was joined on Good Morning Britain by former Love Island contestant Dr Alex George, who has been working at Lewisham Hospital’s A&E department during the coronavirus pandemic
She said: ‘We’re trying to convey emotion with a mask over our face, trying to shout down the phone. Just listening to people crying is heartbreaking. I can’t describe it as anything other than that.
‘Relatives will say “please can you pass on a message; I love you, please get better soon, we want your home,” it is just so heartbreaking.
‘I cried five times yesterday, I feel so desperate for the relatives.’
The ICU nurse was joined on Good Morning Britain by former Love Island contestant Dr Alex George, who has been working at Lewisham Hospital’s A&E department in south east London.
Dr Alex George told Good Morning Britain the things he and other NHS staff have seen on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic would put the public off the idea of flouting social distancing rules
On Sunday Shirley Watts, from Basildon, Essex, pleaded with the public to stay inside as health staff struggle to cope with the number of Covid-19 cases growing day by day in Britain
Dr George echoed the words of his colleague regarding social distancing, saying: ‘It’s absolutely heartbreaking when you see people not following the guidance. I drove past Clapham Common on the way to work and saw people heading out sunbathing. If they could see what we’ve seen they wouldn’t do it.’
Staff from across the NHS have been begging the minority of people who continue to flout social distancing rules.
On Sunday MailOnline shared the video of tearful ICU nurse Shirley Watts after a shift at Basildon University Hospital.
In it she said: ‘We’re desperately short of staff. Things are really difficult and we’re all struggling.
‘If you stay in and you don’t spread it and you don’t catch it, that takes the pressure off of us because we’re all on our knees at the moment.’