Covenant Health Community Spotlight: Respiratory Therapist describes life before and after COVID-19 pandemic

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PLAINVIEW, Texas — Our healthcare workers have been working tirelessly to help as many people as possible during this COVID-19 pandemic.

One of which is Lynn Ritzert, a Respiratory Therapist at Covenant Health Plainview.

“Before the pandemic things were relaxed and things were understandable. We had our normal patients,” Ritzert said. “Now it’s constructed, organized chaos.”

Ritzert says it’s hard to wrap her mind around the past 8 months.

It’s also hard to comprehend how fast the virus attacks the body and how to respond to it.

“The most difficult part of the pandemic is accepting it,” Ritzert explains. “And changing with it because what we learned in our past is not what we’re doing today. What breaks my heart the most is the defeat and the inability to help. The death, the despair as a caregiver; the ability to help someone and not be able to achieve it. Doing everything we know possible in our knowledge and beating our heads against the wall and still not achieving it and death being the ultimate thing. It’s devastating.”

And through the heartbreak she gives everything she can to every patient she sees.

“To the thought he’s going to pass away and I have another one for that bed, do I hurry up to try and help the next one?” Ritzert explains. “It’s so hard to give up on someone knowing that they’re not going to make it. And to think this one is worth it, this one is worth it, this one is not. You have to live with the choices you make even though you are overwhelmed not to think it’s a person’s life but it’s a person’s life.”

Her faith has helped get her through this year.

“He’s put people in my life to care for,” Ritzert said. “They’re all family to me and I will treat them like family.”

And she hopes you will hear the message she has today.

“It’s not a joke,” Ritzert said sternly. “It’s not something to think, ‘Oh, I’ll never get it.’ It’s real. If you do get it you cannot take it back and say, ‘Oh, it was just a joke to me.’ You got it and if you don’t care for yourself others will care for you and you will die.”

Next week is your chance to help Covenant caregivers.

Covenant Health is raising money for its caregiver fund on December 8th.

The fund will purchase a meal for every Covenant caregiver and their family.

You can find a link to donate here.

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