Thoughts on COVID19…

I’ve had a lot of people reach out and ask if I’m making a blog post about the corona virus. Here it goes: 

I want to start this blog post by stating everything I state or publish are my thoughts and opinions and do not reflect my employer’s thoughts or opinions in any way. 

COVID 19 has officially entered northeast Iowa in a neighboring county. The governor has recommended schools close for the next 4 weeks so most of them have. 

As you all know, I’m a nursing instructor. Many hospitals across the country are not allowing visitors or students to participate in clinicals indefinitely. This has affected my nursing students and I’ve spent the past week staring at our class calendar arranging and rearranging to make sure all students can get their clinical hours in. As I’m typing this, I just received word that no clinicals for the entire college will take place this week and for who knows how long. 

If you know a nursing student, reach out to them. Their lives are totally up in the air. They don’t know if or when they can make up their clinical time or if this will delay their graduation date. 

I’m an ER nurse. I follow a lot of nursing forums. The stigma associated with nurses caring for these patients is real. Parents are requesting that children of these nurses caring for COVID 19 patients be removed from certain  activities, schools and centers. Nurses wearing scrubs in public are being shamed and told to go home.

If you know a nurse, reach out to them. We are stressed. We are bombarded with conflicting information coming from every direction. Is it droplet? Is it airborne? Can we reuse our N95 masks? Will a surgical mask do? We are scared we won’t be able to help people if this hits like they say it will. We are scared to come home to our families. We all are well trained on protecting ourselves from illness and wearing the proper PPE but the general public doesn’t understand our risk is actually low if we follow our policy! Don’t treat us like a virus. We are the good guys and we wash our hands more than you ever know.

My mom is a childcare provider. Schools are closed for the next 4 weeks. She now has an absolute full schedule of school aged kids along with her already booked 3 and under group. She has to make the decision: Does she close? Some daycare centers have. Does she close for the safety of herself and the kids and go a full month without income? Does she stay open? Does she venture out and get groceries to feed this massive influx of kids? Because everyone says to stay home! Will the kids even go back to school? Is this the start of summer break? 

Please thank your childcare provider. Please offer to provide a snack or maybe some extra groceries. Or bring them a beer. (Ha!) 

If you know someone that shouldn’t be out, reach out to them. Offer a grocery run or to run to the post office or bank for them.

If you are going stir crazy with your kids, get outside. Get some fresh air. Take the dog on a walk. Go to the playground? Can we take kids to the playground? See I don’t even know. 

Stay home. Stay home. Stay home. I personally plan on going nowhere all week. (Correction – I will have the two boys so I will be going CRAZY all week) Stay home and here is why: if you stay home, you are less likely to contract the disease and less likely to pass it on to someone else.

Do some spring cleaning and donate clothes or items to a charitable cause! I know I’ll be catching up on Spring cleaning and that darn bathroom remodel. Open the windows for a while, circulate some fresh air! 

Listen to a podcast. I have an entire blog post on how much I love podcasts – maybe now is the time to start listening! 

Don’t be afraid to change your perspective on COVID19 and admit that you were wrong. A week ago, I was comparing this all to influenza. Boy was I wrong. A week ago I didn’t know anything about the crisis in Italy. I wasn’t taking corona virus drills seriously. I was telling everyone to CALM DOWN. I am better equipped now to make an informed opinion than I was even just 2 hours ago! Admit fault, educate yourself, and agree to only accept factual information from reputable sources. 

I shared this chart yesterday and after it was shared 250+ times, I realized that it is putting this virus into perspective for many. I’ve had the same argument: Italy only has 60 million people. The United States has 327 million. The problem is, the United States has fewer ICU beds per capita compared to Italy In fact, in the United States, there are 2.8 hospital beds per 1,000 people. The problem is, we are still recovering from a major flu season and many of those beds are already occupied. Italy was more prepared for this than we were. Look at California’s number – look at Washington’s numbers. Each state will now track their own trend.

Consider reaching out to that relative in the nursing home. Maybe now is a good time to send them that bird feeder for outside their window in their room. Maybe send them a letter or figure out how to Skype with them. They are scared and now they are lonely. Reach out. 

Consider using this time to get your finances in order. Times like these when you are facing loss of income or maybe you have to unexpectedly pay for full time daycare this month is when that $1,000 emergency fund comes into place. 

I totally stole this from someone’s Facebook but it absolutely broke my heart. “If there’s a high school senior in your life, give them a hug and pray for them. To them, the possibility of cancelling school is not really a vacation. It’s time they won’t get to spend with their friends the last few months before they graduate. They’re anxious, realizing they may never be able to take the field again, compete in FFA, FBLA, Skills USA, speech, music, band, school play, cheer and dance, prom, track, baseball, etc., with their best friends and hear their name called on senior night. They’re nervous that they may not be able to walk the stage and get the diploma they have been working hard on for 13 years. They entered this world during 9/11 and will graduate during a pandemic. Show them support and love them during these times.” 

I’d like to include a few resources that I rely on and so do other healthcare leaders across the country. 

This website is updated by the minute. It was created by a 17 year old who began tracking the corona virus long before it landed in the United States. https://ncov2019.live/data

I also found this resource detailing how one particular patient can endanger thousands of lives. I introduce to you, patient #31: https://graphics.reuters.com/CHINA-HEALTH-SOUTHKOREA-CLUSTERS/0100B5G33SB/index.html?utm_source=reddit.com&fbclid=IwAR3RHD0KIH91NUYbxTKgNwRqfcp5pjHB9JV4Xw2THeqyHu1y78qu58jaooc

Most importantly, if you wonder if you have the corona virus, call your doctor. Don’t just show up at the ER, don’t show up at the clinic. We have certain procedures and actions we need to take to protect ourselves and the community.

That’s all I have for now folks! I’d love to chat about it and answer questions if I can. If you’re quarantined I recommend watching Pandemic on Netflix if you think we are all over reacting 🙂

Also, catch up on some blog posts if you’re bored!

5 thoughts on “Thoughts on COVID19…

  1. Helen says:

    Here in Massachusetts – Affecting ALL students in ALL schools and ALL their dreams. University daughters back home early – no more school through end of year / anxious & worried how closings will affect their futures. We’re fortunate, we have food & are fairly health. I’m at risk due to age & health.
    Per Governor- schools closed, public parks closed, no gatherings over 25, restaurants take away only, No visitors at nursing homes, etc. It is definitely worrisome …

  2. Susan the Farm Quilter says:

    Thanks for the heads-up about how nurses are being treated. Reached out to my step-daughter who is an RN. Praying this curve flattens out while our hospitals can still function normally!!

  3. Nance in Reno says:

    Saw posted on our Nextdoor group:
    If everything gets cancelled and you have to stay home and NOTHING HAPPENS, please try to remember: THAT’S THE POINT.

  4. Sophie Brown says:

    I’m so sorry that nurses are being treated this way! My mom is a retired nurse and this is an incredibly important and under appreciated career but I’ve never seen this response! I know people are scared but I’m disappointed. :-/ Just know that you are appreciated for the work you do and be sure to take care of yourself and your family!

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