TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations are surging in the Wabash Valley and all across the state of Indiana. Vigo County Health Commissioner Dr. Darren Brucken spoke with News 10 about the state of COVID-19 here locally.
Dr. Brucken says that hospitals here locally are busier than they’ve ever been with COVID-19 patients. He says it’s more taxing right now and throughout the last two weeks than it’s been throughout the entire pandemic.
Dr. Brucken admittedly said that local hospitals are a bit nervous of the fallout from upcoming holiday gatherings and the amount of people that could come knocking on their door. He says there is a very real possibility of having to turn patients away. Hospital staff is maxed out and so is the amount of beds.
He says that’s why it’s of utmost importance to take COVID-19 seriously and do everything you can do to help mitigate the spread in our community.
“People still think that this is not real or it’s not that big of a deal,” Dr. Brucken explained, “Our hospital numbers are up, our death numbers are way up, our sickness numbers are up, our mobility is up, mortality is up, case numbers are up, people are just getting sicker—I mean just look around. How is this thing deniable to anybody?”
Dr. Brucken shed light on a slew of topics with News 10 regarding the local COVID-19 situation. He spoke about reinfection, hospital numbers, and the upcoming holiday season. News 10 also spoke with a local COVID-19 survivor. He spoke about how his recovery is going and had a message for everyone.
67-year-old Dan Pigg lives on the outskirts of Vigo County. You may remember, News 10 spoke with him in late August about his battle with COVID-19. Pigg says he flat-lined, was brought back to life and had to stay in the hospital for 37 days. That was all back in March, but Pigg says he still doesn’t feel 100% recovered.
“I’m more than 50% recovered—probably close to 75%,” Pigg estimated, “I’m still a little deficient in endurance, stamina, and memory. The long-term memory is still there but the short-term memory is kind of hit and miss.”
Many COVID-19 patients who have recovered report similar lingering symptoms of brain fog. Dr. Brucken tells News 10, patients like Pigg aren’t exactly out of the woods and must continue to remain vigilant while practicing all COVID-19 precautions.
“Right now, we have re-exposures in our community—reinfections,” Dr. Brucken warned, “People that were positive in April in May recovered, and now they are sick again and testing positive again.”
News 10 asked Pigg if he was concerned about being re-infected. He didn’t seem too worried but says he will still be extra cautious, follow all COVID-19 guidelines, and urges everyone to do the same.
“I’m not afraid of it. I think I’ve experienced the worst part of COVID-19 that anybody could experience,” Pigg concluded, “Do everything you possibly can to stay safe.”
Pigg says he’s living proof that COVID-19 is very real. Dr. Brucken agrees and urges everyone, even if you’re tired of it, to exercise caution this holiday season saving lives in the process.