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UofL doctors reflect on COVID impact over 2 years

With cases now finally slowing down, frontline heroes can take a deep breath and reflect on what they have been through.
Published: Mar. 17, 2022 at 4:51 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - There’s been a lot of progress in the past two years when it comes to COVID.

With cases now finally slowing down, frontline heroes can take a deep breath and reflect on what they have been through.

Doctors and scientists learned about COVID-19 in real time and literally had to give it their all to make it through.

Dr. Valerie Briones-Pryor said people in health care aren’t trained to handle a pandemic. It’s not something people thankfully go through on a regular basis.

Two years ago, UofL Health Jewish Hospital opened “7 Towers,” a floor dedicated to COVID patients. Briones-Pryor worked on the floor and said she remembers two years ago being scared of the unexpected.

She wasn’t supposed to be the one running the COVID unit, but she did. She said she stepped up and learned so much from this journey.

Briones-Pryor lost more than 60 patients to the virus in two years. It was hard because she wasn’t prepared mentally for that volume of loss.

“I still keep a list of all the ones who passed at my desk, as a reminder of what I went through to make sure that I live my life outside of the hospital,” Briones-Pryor said. “That I enjoy every minute that I have with my family. There are families who don’t get to have their loved one anymore. For me, that’s my reminder. I try to honor them by continuing to live my life and take care of others and do my best.”

Briones-Pryor said at first, her patients who passed away were older. Then many different age groups reported deaths.

She said when people ask her where this virus is headed, she said she’s just grateful cases are down.

It isn’t about to try to predict where we are headed, she said. She just wants to take things day by day and hopes we avoid another spike in cases.

WAVE — Louisville and Southern Indiana's NBC affiliate. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram...
WAVE — Louisville and Southern Indiana's NBC affiliate. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @wave3news.(WAVE)

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