New York City has been one of the hardest hit parts of America by the coronavirus. We spoke with Amber Espinoza, a Casper College alum, who is part of a full COVID-19 unit in NYC.

People can come in alert and oriented...walking and talking and happy just having a little bit of shortness of breath and within days they're gone.

Amber took a few minutes out of her busy shift at the hospital she's working with in New York City to discuss her time at Casper College and what she's seeing with in the coronavirus battle in NYC.

Amber Espinoza - "I am a Casper College alumni...I actually moved out of Casper about 5 years ago. I spent about 15 years there. I graduated from the Casper College Pharmacy Technology program and Casper College nursing program."

Amber explained that she is one of thousands of nurses who are all on COVID-19 duty at New York hospitals no matter what their specialty happens to be. I asked her what the reality is like in New York that has been hit so hard by this pandemic. For those of us in Wyoming that haven't had the virus or even know someone with coronavirus, it's hard to comprehend how bad this can get.

Amber Espinoza - "It is very serious, Doc...it's hard to imagine when you're from a place like Wyoming where there's not a huge population. But, in New York, people are living so close together."

Amber said that people can enter the hospital with mild symptoms only to have things go very wrong quickly.

Amber Espinoza - "People can come in alert and oriented...walking and talking and happy just having a little bit of shortness of breath and within days they're gone."

She said that her first few days in New York were horrible.

Amber Espinoza - "People were dying left and right...you gotta figure out which ones you're gonna save. These people are in hospital rooms that are 4 people to a room with no curtains...they're watching each other die."

I asked Amber what we can do in Wyoming to prevent the situation from becoming as dire as it is in New York.

Amber Espinoza - "I would just say wash your hands, stay home...don't take your whole family to get groceries...wear your mask, wash dirty surfaces...just pretty much what the news is telling you to do."

Amber also said that while there is concern for her own health and that of her colleagues, they know the risks and trust their training to keep them safe. It's that kind of courage that inspires us here in Wyoming and our thoughts and prayers remain with Amber and her fellow nurses and doctors while they continue the battle with this deadly virus.

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