Amid COVID-19 Upswing, El Paso, Texas, Doctor Says ICU Is ‘Surreal’ And ‘Strange’

A nurse performs a coronavirus test at a mega drive-through website in July at El Paso Neighborhood Colleges Valle Verde campus in El Paso, Texas.

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A nurse conducts a coronavirus test at a mega drive-through site in July at El Paso Community Colleges Valle Verde campus in El Paso, Texas.

Cengiz Yar/Getty Images

We as a community are going to need to discover a way to get through this. At the end of the day … politics and policy are not going to save a neighborhood. The individuals in the community have to do the due diligence and actually take care of themselves and their families to get through this.

” Were used to being in the ICU,” he continued. “But having this lots of clients in the ICU, vulnerable and paralyzed, and truly knowing that theres a big number of them that throughout time are going to be contributed to that human catastrophe count is truly unsettling.”

” A lot of individuals just presume that when you stroll into an ICU, that itll be loud and the pressure,” Alozie said. “But the nurses and the physicians and the groups are simply setting about their organization.”

I believe for our community, it sort of caught us by surprise. And I believe what happened is that as a community, we let down our guard. I think multigenerational homes that we have, a lot of household gatherings, and if you look sort of worldwide at the population characteristics for El Paso, one of our ZIP codes, 79938, is actually one of the most populated ZIP codes in America.

A dramatic upswing in COVID-19 cases and positivity rates in El Paso, Texas, has led authorities to ask locals to remain at home for 2 weeks and to impose a necessary countywide curfew.

Today, Texas has seen approximately 6,122 new cases each day, up from 4,149 two weeks back. Given that the beginning of the pandemic, at least 911,835 individuals in Texas have evaluated positive and 18,162 people have actually passed away from the infection.

I think for our community, it sort of caught us by surprise. And I think what happened is that as a neighborhood, we let down our guard. I believe multigenerational houses that we have, a lot of household gatherings, and if you look sort of worldwide at the population characteristics for El Paso, one of our ZIP codes, 79938, is actually one of the most populous ZIP codes in America. What is your recommendations to residents of your community in the coming days and weeks?

In excerpts from his interview, Alozie, who is also co-chair of the El Paso COVID-19 job force, goes over the surge in cases, the patients who are having a hard time and what the local reaction has been.

In his declaration buying the curfew, El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said that there has actually been a 160% increase in the positivity rate and a 300% boost in hospitalizations in the last 3 weeks.

There is a curfew now. Individuals are being told to remain home for the next few weeks. What is your recommendations to locals of your neighborhood in the coming days and weeks?

The one that haunts me the most, I think, is something that, for us, occurred over the weekend. One of the nurses was trying to get a patient settled and told me as she was breaking down– because the toll is a lot– about this 50-year-old gentleman that had actually come in, had been engaged in a family event and was now in our ICU struggling for breath.

It seems like you saw this coming– the potential of a 2nd spike– however didnt believe it would happen this early in the year. Why do you think were seeing this spike now?

At the end of the day … politics and policy are not going to conserve a neighborhood.

Is there a patient or a certain story that sticks out to you in current days that you simply cant get out of your mind?

Lisa Weiner, Dalia Mortada and Ziad Buchh produced and modified the audio version of this story. Christianna Silva adjusted it for the Web.

Dr. Ogechika Alozie, chief medical officer of the Del Sol Medical Center in El Paso, told NPRs Morning Edition that as you stroll through the extensive care system “it strikes you simply how surreal and how odd this is.”