At a nursing home town hall meeting Wednesday, 1199SEIU UHE member Ann Mercie Blot told members of Congress of the struggles she and her co-workers face every day while working in Florida nursing homes during the pandemic. She testified about the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) in her facility, not knowing which of the residents were infected with COVID-19 and of the chronic short-staffing that has plagued the industry for years.
“Before COVID-19, every morning when I woke up to go to work, I looked forward to seeing my patients….because they are like my family. . . It was normal to go into their room, hold their hand, and ask how was their night, even to give them a hug,” said Blot. “But now with COVID-19, every morning when I wake up and say my prayers, the only thing I can say is ‘God- protect me, protect us’.“
SEIU nursing home workers like Blot have been calling for PPE, no cost testing and a nationally coordinated response since the early days of the pandemic. They are now calling out the government and nursing home owners for their failures, and coming together to do whatever it takes to protect themselves, their families and their residents.
• Watch the recording of the town hall here.