Governor, I’d like to chat.
Governor, I’ve been sitting here trying to find the words to write this. I know so many of my friends and community members disagree with what I’m about to write. I know there will be plenty of people commenting disputing and tearing apart every line I write. I know I’m opening myself up for attack.
And I still think it’s worth talking about.
Ms. Reynolds, I am a loyal follower of yours. I don’t agree with every decision you make. I didn’t and I won’t vote for you. However, I can respect how difficult your job is. There is no right answer. There is no way to make everyone happy – beyond just happiness, the decisions you and your administration make can make or break Iowan’s families and small businesses for months and years to come. I know you don’t take any decisions lightly.
Like I said, I am a loyal follower of yours. I watched every daily press conference you held for weeks on end in March and April and May. I have the state’s coronavirus dashboard pulled up multiple times a day. I watched trolls drag your name through the mud on Facebook live, accusing you of ruining small businesses when you were just trying to do your job. Your name has been raked through the mud in a way no one deserves.
The numbers don’t lie, Iowa is behind. Iowa is not doing well at all. That’s not a secret. The numbers are growing. Hospitals are surging. Flu season is coming. Pandemic fatigue has us at war with our neighbors and families. Iowa is in desperate need of a leader.
Where are you Kim Reynolds?
I don’t mean that to come off as inflammatory, truly.
I’m scared. I’m scared for my friends, my family, my neighbors, for total strangers. I’m scared and I’m looking for a leader.
Where. Are. You.
Where is the daily press conference now that we need it more than ever?
Do you remember the zones? The charts and numbers and monitoring tools? You promised me this was under control. You promised that there would be further closures if it was indicted. You promised that there was an entire team behind every decision you made.
Where are you now? Where is that team? Where are you now that over 30,000 Iowans are currently actively positive with the coronavirus? (see source here)
The good news is, I found you.
I’ve searched the news. I’ve searched your Facebook page and I found you.
I found you campaigning for Donald Trump.
I found you campaigning for Joni Ernst.
I found you campaigning for Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination.
I found your last press conference held on October 7th addressing Donald Trump’s COVID -19 diagnosis.
I found you at Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Nebraska.
I found you posted a video with Joni, the caption read, “On Duty for Joni Ernst!”
But Governor, who is on duty for Iowa? Now that we need a leader more than ever?
Where are the daily press conferences?
Ms. Reynolds, have you been in a COVID unit since the pandemic started?
You talk about all of the open hospital beds and ICU beds but do you have the nurses to take care of the patients in those beds?
Governor, I can easily see how many ventilators are available in the state of Iowa at any given second, but how many respiratory therapists do you have on standby to operate those ventilators?
Finally, I don’t know what I want from you. I don’t know if I want you to shut down Iowa, I don’t know if I want a mask mandate. I don’t know.
Ms. Reynolds, I don’t know what the right answer is; but you should know.
You have one of the most difficult jobs in the state of Iowa right now. I sincerely pray for you and your administration. I pray for our leaders to make the right decisions. I don’t want you to fail even though we don’t see eye to eye.
I just want you to show up for Iowa.
Sincerely, A COVID ICU Nurse
*To my followers, I’m aware this breeches my “no politics” promise I made to you. I felt it needed to be said. Please feel free to stop back tomorrow for regularly scheduled programming*
Wow… well said and well thought out. I think the medical staff need to make more statements like this. Leadership comes from the top and, like you said, you might not agree, but someone needs to step up and make the decisions and follow through. Good for you! I read your statement through your eyes as a nurse who sees and knows what is happening in the hospital and in her community and I felt your passion through your words. I commend you.
First off, I don’t live in Iowa but I feel like a lot of us in the West/Midwest feel this post deeply. I don’t really think it violates your “no politics promise” (which I LOVE by the way) either. This is just a personal plea for guidance from our leaders. We are all worried about the future and we need the people in charge to lead, encourage and guide us now more than ever. Stay healthy and safe and thanks for your work in nursing and on this blog!
Not political , but a question about leadership for the common good for everyone. Thank you very much for writing this. I’m not in Iowa, but the entire nation is facing the same problem and there are lots of leaders failing their constituents. Blessings to all of you in the medical profession.
We elect our leaders to do just that Lead so you asking her where is she seems appropriate to me. When Iowa is having a major health issue I would want her to be in Iowa and being available to the people she serves with updates. Being an ICU nurse during this time must be scary on so many levels and then to know you may be exposed, carry it home, how many ventilators are available, and so on would be scary also. You are right to ask her, Where are You?
Thank you for your comments. Well stated. I’m a retired nurse from California and I’m sickened that politicians are not following medical advise. The people follow the politicians. Lives could have been saved. Our leader needed to be honest with all of us and not lie. Hospitals are still short of equipment. And short of nurses, doctors, and respiratory therapists. We all need to take precautions so we can have a future.
With the CDC, which used to be the gold standard for medical information, waffling and going back and forth on their recommendations, I don’t know that anyone really knows the best path to take, for the individual, family, town, city, state, country, world. There is a better handle on what drugs to use earlier in the progression of the virus to prevent the need for hospitalization and ventilators. I know of 3 people IRL who have had COVID and for them, even with co-morbid conditions from obesity, two recent surgeries to put rods in a broken femur to TB, their symptoms were like a mild cold with exhaustion. For me, with asthma, I hate wearing a mask and will only do so when I have to go to the doctor/hospital. I order groceries online that are put in the back of my SUV (love it and have used it for over a year), and I stay home…alone with 2 dogs. Balancing the known negatives to lock-downs (loss of jobs/incomes/businesses dying/suicide/domestic violence) with the possibility of getting sick with a virus that has a high survivability for most who get sick, it’s difficult. Personally, I think that most people (not all, that’s for sure) have the intelligence to self-isolate if they are in a group that has a high mortality rate and they are afraid of getting sick or if they have any symptoms of any illness. All of my family has been working throughout the invasion of the COVID virus (military (overseas), ER RN, PA in family practice, corrections officer, farm implement sales/service, and delivery drivers (and the RN and PA are both currently pregnant)…even with seeing a variety of people every day and in different situations, not one of them has gotten sick. Unfortunately, so many people have never been taught to take personal responsibility for their actions, so they need a higher authority to tell them what to do and what not to do…and maybe they’ll follow the directions or not. I don’t have all the answers, but I refuse to live in fear or controlled by fear.
Very well stated, Susan.
I live in Kentucky. Our Governor Andy Beshear has been having press conferences regularly. At first it was every day, even Sunday. Now, he has them four days a week, Monday thru Thursday. They usually last an hour with much information and answers to submitted questions. I watch him religiously. We are so lucky to have him as our Governor. We’ve had a mask mandate in Kentucky for many months. A lot of people don’t like his guidance and mandates. (He’s a Democrat.) He’s only trying to save Kentuckians’ lives. We are having a surge, but not as bad as the numbers in Iowa. Iowa is one of the states on our no-travel list. I think of your family when I see Iowa on that list. I’m thinking of y’all often. I think your letter is wonderful. Thank you for your service as a health care worker, especially in these trying times.
We need not only leaders in each state, but we need a leader in Washington who cares about ALL of the people in the United States. Our current leader is downplaying this virus, saying it’s rounding the corner … when, in fact, it’s getting worse … infecting and killing more and more people every day.
My heart goes out to all of our essential workers!
Wear your mask people.
Well said Jan!
Your observation is a good one and your questions are valid, the political climate is such that people actually must believe that wearing a mask infringes on their constitutional right…unfortunately they are probably not understanding this is no hoax. The medical community is working seriously to keep people safe. I think leadership is lacking from the top, you are correct. I just wish someone who is the ‘bright light’ could see that it would be wise to shut everything down for a month, it would save lives.
my governor seems to be too wishy washy too…. Ohio resident
Kalissa – I’m in Canada – so things are a bit different probably. But, we don’t see our Premier each day (which is probably your Governor equivalent). We see / hear from our Provincial Health Officer (Dr. Bonnie Henry) either in person briefing or written each day – Monday – Friday. She has been an awesome leader through all this. Our numbers for the Province are surging as well. Thankfully, I live on Vancouver. Island and the numbers for our area are low.
As Bonnie Henry says – Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Calm
Well said from a fellow BC resident.
It seems the experts don’t know much about Covid ,some try to scare everyone,I like a leader that gives hope , instead of making everyone panic. It’s hard to get toilet paper again! Let’s make America Great again
Kalissa From the beginning of your blog I have read of your family and your life and work with happiness and respect. Your honest opinion should be able to be stated because you are a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt and an essential worker. Since you do work in hospital you are more aware of the true facts and statistics regarding the horrid disease. Asking for leadership is not political and I am trying to keep my comments not political since I am Canadian. As Wendy stated previously, our Dr. Bonnie Henry says it best; “ Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Calm” and wear a mask.
All very well said, Kalissa. Please stay safe!
Kalissa you aren’t being political . You’re asking for leadership! It what we elect our leaders to do. It’s easy enough during normal time but these aren’t normal times. Leadership shows when things get tough and sadly we aren’t seeing it. That’s not politics. That’s reality!
In no way is this political Kalissa. You, like all of us in healthcare, are seriously concerned about Public Health and our colleagues.
Leadership right now is more important than ever as we neared 100,000 cases yesterday in the USA 🙁
Thank you for caring….for yourself, your family, your community. I read on your Mom’s Blog you are doing back to back 16 hour shifts. Thank you. Be well. Mega hugs to you.