Mairead Boyd remembers last summer and thinking the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen might have avoided the worst of the Covid-19 crisis. She was wrong. The worst was still to come.
The Fermanagh and Omagh district has been hard hit by the virus's second onslaught this winter, and the ward sister has spoken of the stresses she and colleagues have been facing every day on the Covid ward.
Watching the rapid deterioration of patients of all ages with Covid, hearing the grim daily death toll and having to exclude families from visiting loved ones coupled with extra long and additional shifts have taken their toll. But they are now part and parcel of a nurse's life, explained Mairead.
She said the hospital escaped the worst of the pandemic in its early stages but this is no longer the case. The predicted peak arrived earlier than expected and hit much harder than anticipated, she said.
She said: "Covid-19 is dominating how we work at the South West Acute Hospital, unlike the first lockdown last March when we were not anything like as strained as we are this time.
"Myself and my colleagues on the Covid ward initially felt last year that Fermanagh and Tyrone did get off lightly and hoped this would be the same this year, but sadly that isn't the case.
"Unfortunately this horrendous virus takes no pity on where you live and sadly takes people's lives on a daily basis, regardless of our age.
"I feel that none of us knew when we could contract Covid or how our body would react. This is so much more than just our winter flu. Healthy people can also become extremely ill in a very short period of time.
"The past few weeks have definitely been the worst so far of the pandemic."
Ms Boyd said one of the hardest aspects has been the separation of patients from their families.
She explained: "Patients are unable to have family members to visit, which can cause distress to them and of course their family.
"However, it continues to be our privilege to provide the best care we can - we will not only be a nurse to our patients, we will act as their family.
"We reassure each family that especially at the end of life the nurse will be holding their loved one's hand and providing comfort at all times.
"We are going above and beyond to care for our patients and cover the ward and we are providing the best standard of care possible for extremely ill patients."
But there are signs the crisis is easing in the district.
The latest Department of Health statistics show 49 cases up to February 13 - an incidence rate of 41.9 per 100,000 people - the lowest of all 11 councils. It had the second lowest rate in the week previous to that.
Ms Boyd appealed to people to continue to play their part when it comes to keeping the numbers of new cases to a minimum.
She said: "As nurses we are under horrendous pressure daily on our 12-hour shifts and unfortunately due to the extreme shortage of nurses, staff are working extra shifts every week.
"Morale can be low and we are tearful at times but we continue to support each other as best we can and pick each other up when times are difficult."