ATLANTA — Jenny Accarino had just worked four shifts in a row on April 2. And while the shifts are no-doubt exhausting, her first desire wasn't to sleep - far from it.
She wanted to go back.
"Crazy, I know. Especially how tough it’s been being in the ICU. This is just the beginning of many many hard days," she wrote in a public Facebook message that has now been liked and shared hundreds of times.
The load the virus is putting on the healthcare system is immense. And it's no different for Accarino as she works to help those that need her the most while also hoping that those she works alongside stay healthy.
"I never know what I’m walking into," she wrote. "We have little supply, burnt out and scared staff (I’m one of them) and I’m trying not to breathe in my enemy."
But, even after hour-upon-hour of facing this virus, her goal wasn't to get away.
"Today, I didn't want to leave my patient," she wrote. "I want to see them get better. I'm praying on it. I want to be there when they do."
In Georgia, the virus has led to the hospitalization of roughly 20 percent of those who test positive for it.
And those who end up in hospitals meet nurses like Accarino - people in harm's way who just want to see these patients get better.
"I want to say ‘you did it, you beat covid’ and I want that victory for my coworkers, doctors and most importantly for them and their family who can’t be there," she wrote.
It's those moments and the people working by her side that give her reason to keep going against significant odds. These are the things that bring her pride.
"I am so proud to be an ICU nurse. It’s been a tough journey for me but I never once have given up," she wrote. "I fought so hard to have the HONOR to be in this profession and today I felt that. Im learning so much everyday. We will survive this."
Accarino thanked those who have supported her and others as many continue to fight COVID-19 in different ways. Her message to those outside the hospitals: "Be kind, be patient, stay home and take care of one another. I promise to do my best."
She said that while she wasn't sure whether she should share the message, she now hopes it helps others find inspiration. And she hopes it helps them find their own strength.
"Good night," she wrote. "I look forward towards a better tomorrow."