St. Francis Hospital To Remember COVID-19 Victims 1 Year After First Confirmed Case In Oklahoma

Monday, March 1st 2021, 8:13 am
By: Brooke Griffin

TULSA, Okla. -

Monday, March 1st marks one year since the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in Oklahoma. St. Francis Hospital is holding a moment of silence at noon on Monday to honor those lost and those who have been able to fight the virus and win.

In the past year, there have been more than 4,480 lives have been lost due to coronavirus just in the state of Oklahoma alone and if you break that down, that’s a little more than 12 deaths a day on average related to the virus.

Assistant Medical Director of the Emergency Department Ryan Parker said the contrast between how she feels about the pandemic today compared to a year ago is vast.

“I remember getting the text saying that patient just walked in the door and immediately we thought "okay, here we go, this is it, let’s do this," and then the fear and the overwhelming feeling began,” Parker said. “Now, we aren’t just used to the virus, we are good at it at this point dare I say, we are more in control now.”

At exactly noon, the hospital staff said they plan to stop everything for one minute and reflect on the heartbreak that has taken place over the past 365 days. More than 70 local churches are also set to participate in the solemn moment by ringing their bells for that minute.

The community is not allowed to participate due to the need for physical distancing, but the hospital is encouraging everyone to hold their own personal moment at noon wherever they are.

Dr. Parker said everyone is feeling a range of emotions today as they reflect.

“We really want to have something to commemorate this event, it’s a big deal, we have been through a lot we want to have a moment to just pause and say thank you and grieve and express happiness at how far we have come,” Parker said.

Parker said, although today marks a year of dealing with the pain of COVID, she is proud of each of the frontline workers for everything they have accomplished and done to get through the pandemic.