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Texas ICU nurse on state reopening: 'I’m scared of what this is gonna look like'

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On Cuomo Prime Time Tuesday night, Brittany Smart, an ICU nurse from Texas, weighed in on the state lifting all COVID-19 restrictions. Earlier in the day, Governor Greg Abbott announced the removal of the mask mandate, and all businesses are now allowed to operate at 100%. While Smart said that the burden COVID places on healthcare workers has eased up, she doesn’t believe lifting restrictions at this time is a good idea.

“I feel like we finally hit a point where we all started breathing a little bit easier, we kind of saw a light at the end of the tunnel, and I kind of feel like that was shut down,” Smart said. “I think we’re all pretty exhausted and I'm scared of what this is gonna look like.”

While new COVID cases have dropped significantly throughout much of the country recently, all that means to Smart is that she and her coworkers are no longer dealing with the daily nightmare they found themselves in just a short time ago.

“We’re still taking precautions because we still have COVID patients. It’s not like the COVID patients are gone, it’s not like they’re not dying, it’s just that we no longer need a refrigerated truck outside is the deal,” Smart said. “Our morgues have finally let up just a little bit so we can actually take care of these patients after they die and allow them to be buried properly. We don’t have people in the hallways anymore on stretchers. Ya know, we’re not putting dead bodies in empty rooms at this point.”

But given the lifting of restrictions as new COVID variants emerge, Smart fears the worst.

“My biggest fear is that we’re gonna lose more people and we’re gonna lose them faster, because this variant is a lot stronger,” Smart said, “and it’s gonna spread a lot faster.”