We answer the call

Something I just wrote because I am tired.

It never occurs to anyone that nurses and physicians will simply throw in their masks and go home. That respiratory therapists, CNA’s, and radiology techs will just leave the place that may make them sick or die. That nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants will finally decide that Covid deniers are going to harm them and their families and just go on public assistance for the next six months. That paramedics and EMTs will stop picking you up and go quarantine themselves to be safe.

That’s because we won’t. Unfortunately, people who go into these professions actually care about you. This is normally a wonderful thing. You want caring people in caring scientific professions. Nobody can dry the tears, massage the back, or wipe the behind of a sick person because they wanted the money. People who are dying for cash don’t go into medicine. They go into investment banking.

The human body is real, it has odors and secretions. It isn’t all clean and perfect under that starched white sheet. And yet we keep lifting it and providing the treatments to keep the body alive. Because it isn’t just a body to us. It is you, it is human, and it is real. You matter to us. This is what we signed up for. To take care of you on your worst day, and on your best day, and all of the days in between.

However, we really didn’t sign up to take care of people who deny that a pandemic exists or that it is deadly. We didn’t sign up to put up with people taking off their masks in the hospital because they were already able to get through the front door where it was mandatory. We didn’t sign up to have you coughing on us at the grocery store when we are trying to get food to sustain us through our next shifts. We didn’t sign up to have our work mocked and denigrated by the very people who are supposed to be making rules to keep us safe. We didn’t sign up for a deadly virus to become a political tool.

We didn’t sign up for being furloughed by greedy hospitals who decided they weren’t making enough money mid pandemic so that organizations like this group have to buy us food so we don’t starve.
You are lucky. We will continue to come to work and care for those who are deathly ill victims of this virus. Even if you denied it existed, or thought it was being exaggerated we will care for you as we would care for our own children or parents.

The question is, can you take a moment to consider that your statement of not wearing a mask in public could infect one of the workers who was destined to care for your mother? Your mother who may now die because there is no skilled critical care nurse to take care of them? Because the intensivist came down with Covid after walking into a grocery store for food and there is no one as skilled in your local hospital at taking care of these patients?

Are you OK with being the cause of death?

I am a nurse. I will do all I can to ensure that you survive this pandemic. So will the 600,000 nurses in Show Me Your Stethoscope who virtually gather 24 hours a day to talk about what we can do for our Covid patients and our families. But the truth is, all of you won’t survive this pandemic.

Less of you will survive it if the anti-maskers continuing to gather and spread this pestilence faster than hospital resources can accommodate don’t start following basic pandemic guidelines.
Let’s hope more of us can do the right thing. Stay home if you can. Wash your hands. Do not attend large gatherings. Wear a mask. Socially distance.