BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Seeing a spike in cases again brings Timothy Hasten back to a dark and familiar place, one he’s tried unsuccessfully to escape.
“COVID started off just changing the game for everybody, the way we live,” Hasten says.
Being a nurse made that transition even harder. Hasten saw the ugliest parts of the pandemic up close, parts that would break most people.
Patients dying on vents and families unable to say goodbye.
When you experience those things for yourself, it makes the fight so much more real, and in Hasten’s case, painful.
“When the pandemic started peaking back when it first hit, I lost my aunt in New Orleans in May.”
His aunt’s death was just the beginning of a terrifying cycle.
Hasten’s mom caught the virus in May.
After that, Hasten’s stepdad caught COVID-19 along with his two uncles and grandfather.
Hasten himself was the last person to catch it. While he fought through his illness, his support system was deteriorating.
His father and uncle didn’t make it. The two men died in separate hospitals, just hours apart.
“My mom still blames herself because she thinks it’s her fault everyone got sick in the house,” Hasten says.
Hasten’s still struggles with fatigue. But the worst parts of the virus go beyond what you can see. A chunk of his family is missing and to him it seems the world isn’t fazed.
When he hears that COVID cases are surging again, it’s like a slap in the face.
“It like hits that last nerve you have when you’re about to explode when you’re angry. Having lost really close family to it and been through it myself. It hurts.
Hasten is sharing his story not as a cry for help, but as a cautionary tale.