Jana Morning, Campus Carrier staff writer
Jaison Morning, brother to Berry senior Jana Morning, shared his personal experiences about what it was like to be a new nurse during the era of COVID-19 back in April. In the last seven months, Morning has begun working at Floyd Medical Center in addition to Piedmont Hospital and has recently tested positive for COVID-19.
Since April, Morning’s work schedule changed from working full-time at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta to working as a PRN nurse, a nurse called into work during a special situation, at both Piedmont and Floyd Medical Center in Rome. He says he is currently working three days a week at Piedmont and two days a week at Floyd.
Although Morning’s chances of getting exposed to COVID-19 went up due to his frequent work schedule, he says he’s unsure of where he actually contracted the virus, stating that none of his coworkers, friends or family had tested positive. Morning tested positive on August 14th, and said his symptoms came out of nowhere.
“My symptoms started Aug. 11,” Morning said. “I’m not really sure if I got it in the community or at work. I can assume I got it at work, but I can’t prove it.”
Morning was in the middle of a routine 12-hour shift when his COVID-19 symptoms became noticeable. He said his coworkers also noticed a difference in his behavior, so he decided it would be best to go home.
“The very first day I was achy and really hot with a fever,” Morning said. “When I got to work, everyone could tell I wasn’t acting like myself, I wasn’t really talking to anyone, and I ended up going home at midnight.”
Even after months of tending to COVID-19 patients and seeing the effects of the virus firsthand, Morning still wasn’t prepared for the physical pain he experienced during his 10- day quarantine period. He described the dull pain he still feels in his right lung, although he hasn’t had COVID-19 for over a month.
“Having COVID-19 personally was obviously different,” Morning said. “During the early stages, it hurt to even roll over in bed, and my lungs hurt inhaling and exhaling. That pain has still lingered for a while, but it seems like it’s finally starting to resolve.”
Morning, who at the time was living with his mother, father, older brother, and younger sister, had slight concern he might have already passed it to his family members, but because no one in his immediate family suffers from underlying health conditions, he was in high spirits that everyone would be fine had they tested positive also.
Shortly after, Morning lost his sense of taste and smell, but both his mom and dad expressed that because of their son’s young age, history as a competitive runner and overall healthy diet, they didn’t think he was at a great risk of falling ill, but knew there was a possibility.
“My main concern was that there was the slight chance it would take a turn for the worst,” said James Morning, Jaison’s father. “Sometimes you never know.”
Jaison’s mother, Lupé Morning, said she wasn’t worried beyond anything a mother would normally worry about after hearing that her child is sick.
“I wasn’t scared,” Lupé said. “I would call and text to see how he was feeling, and stand outside his bedroom door with a mask on and talk to him because I’m his mother, but I always felt like he was going to be alright.”
Jordan Morning, the oldest sibling, knew it was possible he could also test positive for COVID-19, but was doubtful. All four members of Morning’s immediate family got tested following Jaison’s positive results. Everyone tested negative for COVID-19, but still remained in quarantine together for different periods of time.
Jordan was able to return to work three days after testing negative because of his lack of symptoms. Lupé said she is required to wear a mask at work, so she waited for her results, but also returned to work after testing negative a few days later. James was also unable to return to work until his test results came back negative but, for him, took approximately 12 days.
“Jaison and I didn’t have too much contact,” James Morning said. “Either I was leaving the house as he was coming in or the other way around— just passing each other. I didn’t have much concern that I was positive, but because we were in the same house, the risk factor was high enough for me to not return to work until I got that negative test.”
Fortunately, every family member finished the summer in good health, and everyone was allowed to return to work and school safely and without concern.
Even though Morning is working at both Piedmont Hospital and Floyd Medical, he said the numbers of COVID-19 patients he’s personally had to come into contact with has dropped.
“Since the summer I’ve lucked out and only had to work with COVID-19 patients a few times,” Morning said. “Both hospitals I work at have hired travel nurses to help out with COVID patients just in case there was a huge surge. To be honest, since the travel nurses arrived, I haven’t seen the same number of cases like I once was. It’ll be interesting to see what the numbers do this winter.”