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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

A vaccine is here, but the pandemic isn't over

“I think if they saw what health care workers saw in the hospitals, it might change their minds about not wearing a mask,” said Brittany Jetton.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Many of us did not think the pandemic would last this long, but it has. And by many metrics, it's getting worse. 

That means those same protective measures during the start of the pandemic are as important as ever. 

Local 24 News Reporter, Brittani Moncrease, tells us why.

We are tired of the coronavirus pandemic, but that doesn't mean we can't do our part. One Methodist Hospital nurse is urging the public to hang in there.  

It's a new year and we are still in the fight against COVID-19.

It's been a long and tiring. Unfortunately, some have let their guard down. 

“It’s just really disheartening not seeing people taking things seriously,” said Brittany Jetton, Methodist Germantown Hospital nurse. 

Jetton works on the COVID floor. 

“I think if they saw what health care workers saw in the hospitals, it might change their minds about not wearing a mask,” said Jetton.

It's not just the masks. Some do not social distance or wash hands frequently. Some people who have tested positive do not quarantine. 

“People that I’m around. If I do see them not wearing a mask appropriately, I encourage them to wear it the right way. I always have hand sanitizer with me. I gave hand sanitizer as Christmas presents this year because that’s what you need this year,” said Jetton. 

It is a need we'll have for some time. 

“I know that we have been in this for a very long time and everybody is just ready for things to go back to normal. I’m hoping that that will happen, but I think we have a little bit longer before we can get to that point,” said Jetton. 

While a vaccine is being administered to the first group of healthcare workers, it will be months until it's available for the general public. We're still not in the clear.

“Just because you get the vaccine since the rest of the public has not, we still ask that you’re following your social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, until we can get everybody vaccinated to try to get that herd immunity which also is going to take some time,” said Jetton.

She is getting her second vaccine shot Saturday. 

It is expected that most of the hospital staff will get theirs next week.