CROW AGENCY, Mont.—Nursing assistant Becky Long Warrior shuttled between the two hospital rooms. Both housed family members stricken with Covid-19.
In one room, her grandmother stared up at her through a large oxygen mask as Ms. Long Warrior gently squeezed her shoulder and told her to rest.
Next door, Ms. Long Warrior checked in on her uncle, a cattle rancher in his 70s whose lungs were being aided by a machine blowing high-flow oxygen. “He’s used to working, not being in a room alone,” Ms. Long Warrior said.
The Crow reservation, home to about 7,200 people in southern Montana, has been struck by one of the nation’s worst outbreaks in recent weeks. That has created a situation at this 24-bed hospital, operated by the U.S. Indian Health Service, unlike almost any other medical facility in the country: The people helping combat the disease know many of the sick.
“To have loved ones [and] friends be affected by it, and to care for them, sometimes it drains you in every way imaginable,” said Ms. Long Warrior.