San Antonio nurse helps fight COVID-19 in CC

Posted at 12:23 AM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 01:25:24-04

A San Antonio nurse who had been helping fight COVID-19 in New York City is now in Corpus Christi, and she talked to us about what's surprised her since returning to Corpus Christi.

"There's no room and where there is room, there's no staff," Karina Cuellar said.

A virus she's been battling since April, when she traveled to New York, the then-epicenter of COVID-19 in the country.

"As much as I wanted to go home because it was tiring, it was a lot to deal with, my heart was there and I wanted to help as much as I could," Cuellar said.

Cuellar had only been home in San Antonio for two weeks when she left for Corpus.

"Coming back to Texas, and me as a nurse, them telling me that there's a crisis and there's an urgent need for nurses, I couldn't believe it because we still see people out there gathering, no mask, not really taking it serious," Cuellar said.

She said the novel coronavirus is rapidly spreading among the younger population on the coast.

"It's definitely due to the fact that they're the ones going out the most, not really considering the consequences," she said.

The nurse hit the ground running, attending to patients, filling in for nurses who are recovering from COVID-19 themselves. But she said there's an even greater concern.

"We're hearing that it's starting to get even worse than New York and I saw New York, and that was bad, so I hope that it doesn't get to that point," Cuellar said.

The easiest thing to do, she says, is wear a mask to avoid ending up hospitalized alone.

"Really it's just us, the only people that they have, and they always fear ‘What if something happens to me and I don't get to see my family,’ " Cuellar said.

She said the battle against COVID-19 has motivated her to return to school she plans to start classes at the UT Health Sciences Center in the fall.