A Georgia Health Care Worker In New York: ‘This Is What I Do’

Brandy Brown, center right, and a colleague are sent off to work in New York by a group of New York City firemen. She’s spent the last three weeks working in the midst of the crisis there.

Courtesy of Brandy Brown

Coronavirus hotspots like New York City have been recruiting tens of thousands of health care workers with higher hazard pay offers to relieve its exhausted hospital staff.

Brandy Brown, a nurse practitioner based in Snellville, was one who answered that call. She’s been there for three weeks.

“Yes, the money was good, but also I’m just the humanitarian as a whole. So I thought it would be something that I would be able to do and be helpful for,” Brown said.

“It’s bad in the sense of there’s a lot of people hospitalized at this point; beds are full in the hospitals as well as the field hospitals that they’ve already started creating are full,” she said. “At the same time I have to remind people, and I tell this to people every day, there are even more people that are recovering just fine from COVID.”

Brandy Brown
Brandy Brown, a nurse practitioner based in Snellville, has been in New York City for three weeks. (Courtesy of Brandy Brown)

“This is what I do,” she said. “I like helping people and I knew there was a need for my skill set. And being an ex-military personnel … I tend to just kind of run toward disaster.”

Her military training has helped her deal with the day-to-day, she said.

“The things I’ve seen and the people I’ve dealt with and actually had to treat or diagnose or whatever the case may be, have been very heartbreaking,” she said. “However, I’ve been able to be strong-minded and, and strong in my skill set and what it is that I’m trying to provide.”

Brown said it’s productive that people are now so vigilant about cleanliness and sanitizing. She just wishes they were like that all the time.

“It’s almost like, these are things that you should be conscious of regardless; it shouldn’t just be because of COVID,” she said.

“These are the things that normally pass along other viruses, not just COVID. You know, this is why we pass along flu and TB and MERSA … because we don’t pay attention to washing our hands or the things that we touch or wiping down things or any of that. We just don’t. As a provider, and as an individual, I would just tell people to just be more cautious period.”

“This would probably minimize future pandemics or issues that may come up,” she said. “As well as die this down as a whole.”

Brown also urged people to stay calm. To find a way to “be normal” in this time.

“I mean there’s no reason why we can’t feel be normal,” she said. “Although it’s a new normal, it’s still normal. Just got to find creative ways to do things.”

Brown said she will probably stay in New York “for the duration.” But if she’s needed more in Georgia, she would change that.

“If I had to come back home to help out because things got worse, I would definitely would.”