It was just three years ago when Filipino-American Phillipe Nover (11-8-1) was taking on Rick Glenn in Brooklyn, New York in what ended up as his last fight in Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Still in New York three years later, Nover is a frontliner against an invisible opponent.
Nover, 36-year-old and a registered nurse, is part of the health workers that have been trying to control the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic over at Cath Lab.
“I’d say New York City was quite ill-prepared. Especially as you can see with the personal protective equipment (PPE), which is the masks, gowns, the N95 masks. Initially, there was a lot of issues providing enough for the medical staff. Having enough tests, which only in the last week I would say, we were actually able to test within the hospital,” Nover told MMAFighting.com as there have been 83,712 COVID-19 cases in New York alone as of Thursday (Manila time).
“I mean this pandemic is spreading so rapidly and there was only one hospital in Long Island, N.Y. that was able to actually test in the hospital. It took three days even to get the results and that was as of a week or ten days ago. Now we’re moving quickly where we’re testing people, but we still don’t have enough tests.”
Just like in his home country, there are not many test kits to go around. It has resulted in the virus spreading like wildfire in New York.
In Cath Lab alone, Nover admitted that they can no longer bring in Persons Under Investigation as they are already at full capacity.
“We’re not even giving tests to everyone,” continued Nover, who fought in Manila back on May 16, 2015. “You literally have to be critical and have a lot of symptoms to be tested. There’s an influx of patients.
“Our emergency rooms are maxed out most of the time at 80 to 100 percent. Our ICU’s (intensive care unit) is maxed out. Those are the two areas of the hospitals where all medical personnel are directed towards.”
Nover, an Ultimate Fighter finalist, though does not specialize in infectious disease. On paper, he works as part of the cardiology department.
But by trade, he is a nurse. And what do nurses do in the face of a crisis?
“As healthcare professionals in any environment within in the hospital, we’re what society counts on,” Nover said.
“We have to provide healthcare to the community. So when it comes down to risking ourselves, we do it everyday.”