Lincoln, NE (November 12, 2020) The state’s hospitals are filling up with corona virus patients. 800 are under care in hospitals across the state right now, with case numbers going up daily. Governor Pete Ricketts gave his most blunt warning so far to the public on Thursday, saying a tougher approach will have to be taken if case numbers aren’t brought under control.
“If we don’t bend this curve, we don’t flatten this curve, if we don’t knock it down, we are going to be going into further restrictions.”
The Governor reminded reporters that restaurants, tattoo, hair and nail salons, and many other businesses were under restrictions last spring that have since been loosened. He said he would be forced to move back to similar restrictions if the State’s Hospitals don’t get some breathing room soon.
“Follow the rules, use the tools, flatten this curve.”
The Governor urged Nebraskans to avoid the “Three Cs” and to use other tools to slow the spread of the virus, such as wearing masks, social distancing, and staying home when sick.
Ann and Steve Schrader of Omaha joined the Governor to share their family’s experience with the illness. After getting the virus, Steve spent 19 days on a ventilator before his health improved.
The Governor also recognized November 8-14, 2020 as Nurse Practitioner Week in Nebraska, and he presented a ceremonial proclamation to Nebraska Nurse Practitioner President Tara Whitmire.
Gov. Ricketts: Hospital Data & “Three Cs” Reminder
o Crowded Places
o Close Contacts
o Confined Spaces
Ann & Steve Schrader: Coronavirus Survivor Testimonial
o I probably came into contact with the virus while traveling in late February and early March.
o In mid-March, I started to feel like I was having allergies.
o I’m asthmatic, and I began having congestion in my chest. The congestion wouldn’t go away, even after taking prescribed steroids.
o On April 4th, I had walked from the bedroom to the kitchen and was out of breath. We went to urgent care, and they told us to rush to the ER at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
o Ann dropped me off, and she wasn’t able to come in with me.
o I was at UNMC for 4-5 hours when I lost consciousness. I was put on a ventilator.
o When UNMC called to tell me that Steve had tested positive for coronavirus, I was shocked.
o Steve and I talked one more time before he was placed on a ventilator.
o At that time, I didn’t realize how bad his health was. I certainly didn’t know that he would spend the next 19 days on the ventilator.
o Since I was exposed to the virus while living with my husband, I was quarantined.
o A week into his hospitalization, Steve kept getting worse.
o Doctors described his lungs as being like concrete, and they told me there was a very high likelihood he would not survive. That was on Easter weekend, and they were preparing me to come into the hospital to be with Steve as he took his last breaths.
o By the grace of God, and thanks to prayers and the excellence of medical staff, Steve gradually improved.
o He was taken off of the ventilator, though he was still positive for the virus. He was positive for coronavirus for 34 to 35 days.
o Thirty-seven days after going to the hospital, Steve was taken to Madonna, and I could finally see him in-person.
o I was at Madonna for two weeks before being able to go home.
o While on the ventilator at UNMC, I had afib (atrial fibrillation). I had never had any heart issues up to that point.
o I became diabetic during that period of time. I also experienced bad tremors, and lots of neurological issues in my feet, legs, and arms. Those symptoms have gotten better as my strength has improved.
o When you’re lying in bed for 37 days, you lose a lot of muscle strength, too.
o Today, the diabetes is under control with diet and exercise. I thought the afib would go away, but doctors ended up putting a pacemaker in me.
o There’s also a lot of mental stress from the experience. We’re still learning what the long-term issues of coronavirus are.
o The virus is like Russian roulette. People who get it don’t know whether they’ll have slight symptoms, no symptoms, or end up on a ventilator like Steve did. The virus is very serious. It’s nothing to take lightly.
Tara Whitmire: Nurse Practitioner Week
Gov. Ricketts: Holiday Reminder
Read More: NDCS COVID Count Now More Than 240