Nurse’s Week, and why it’s different this year

I’ve always felt pride when I said the words “I am a nurse”… but this year, amid the health crisis that our world is facing, those words mean so much more than they ever have before. This year, pardon my language, but the “shit” is real. This year, the world has changed; we are living in a time where we must be six-feet apart, and wear masks just to shop for groceries. Hand sanitizer, Lysol, and toilet paper are being sold on the black market, and meat is being limited per person; we are not used to such (dare I say), “hardship”.

Nursing, in the year 2020, has changed. No one ventured into the Nursing profession thinking that we would be risking our lives, or the lives of our families, just by showing up and doing our job, caring for those in need…and yet, here we are. We are experiencing a new reality that brings even the most healthy among us, to our knees.

I have friends who have tested positive for Covid 19 and have recovered (or, who are in the process of recovering), and I knew people who were not as fortunate; who died alone, having no closure at all. I just pray that they had a kind nurse, or other healthcare provider, staying with them, holding their hand, and telling them that they were loved.

While most of us are staying at home, practicing social distancing, almost all (active) nurses and healthcare providers are going to work every day fighting the good fight. The timing of Nurse’s Week this year actually makes it quite ironic, because while most Nurse’s Day/Week celebrations are cancelled (and that’s ok, we have bigger fish to fry), we all agree that the cause is too great to risk any progress that’s been made to flatten the curve. We’ve also been blessed to receive so much love and kindness from the community, shown to us with generous donations of food, treats, and supportive messages to show their gratitude for our work. This year, we are being called HEROES… and that is pretty special indeed!

I wish all of my Nurse friends and family a very Happy Nurse’s Week… I love you, I support you, and I thank you for showing up, even when it’s hard… please be safe.

Be Safe

“Be safe”. We are saying this to one another at the end of almost every conversation lately to let others know that we care about them and their well-being. We are all afraid of the invisible virus that we cannot see, but one that is consuming our days and nights. The biggest fear most of us have is from the unknown; who has “it”, are we “safe”, and if we are, for how long? We lock ourselves behind closed doors and hope that it won’t find us, but you can’t turn on the TV or login to social media without reading about it… without hearing the latest statistics and body count… without seeing the damage that it is causing, near and far, but it’s the “nearness” that is the most scary.

Hospitals are running out of masks and protective supplies. We don’t know if we will have enough hospital beds or ventilators. We don’t even know if we will have enough healthcare professionals to get us through this nightmare of a virus, especially if it doesn’t go away soon. It’s not like other serious illnesses are taking a step back and not requiring treatment or hospital beds… no, they still exist and deserve our full attention as well.

Those who are fortunate are able to work from home, but the bravest people I know are showing up to work every day, even though it’s hard; even though they are afraid and don’t know how or when this will end… while the cowards are out buying up the last rolls of toilet paper and hoarding them because they don’t care about anyone else… as if that will save them.

So if I haven’t already said it to you… please be safe. Please take care of yourself and know that I care about you.