Posted: August 9, 2020
As I write this editorial on June 8, 2020, it is hard to know what will be facing the world and the nursing profession by August. Originally, this editorial was going to focus only on COVID-19. Our lives have changed since March when COVID-19 cases began to increase in the US. The nursing classes I teach had to immediately move to online learning. As families we learned how to live in isolation and learned the ins and outs of Zoom calls.
For some of you, the last couple of months have been even more devastating. You may have worked with a skeleton crew to recover emergency surgery patients, or you may have worked on another unit due to low census in the surgery department. Some of you may worked as screeners. Some of you were told to stay home because of low census, and some had your postanesthesia care unit (PACU) transformed into COVID-19 units. You may still be doing that work. Most of you who are working on the frontlines come home, sanitize your car, shed your scrubs at the door, throw them into the wash and then take a long shower before seeing family. Some of you may have lost family members or cared for very sick family members. Some nurses and other healthcare workers have lost their lives.
As if that was not challenging enough, we are confronted with the injustice and systemic racism embedded into society that played out as we watched the horrifying death of George Floyd. His death, and others, such as Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, tragically remind us of the inequities and racism that persist today. These past few days have been heart-wrenching.