Life · Nursing

cautious optimism and the “new normal”

While I’m not typically one to post on Facebook and I’ve definitely removed myself from most social media lately, this is an important one. The last couple months or so, I’ve been speaking with MPs, MPPs and other representatives about what is going on from a front line perspective for many of my front line colleagues across the province and how we can best support people to do our jobs safely and protect ourselves/ those we love. It is incredible the lack of understanding that those making decisions “at the top” have of what is really going on. Which is why it’s SO important that we provide them with that context to address the critical issues right now.

This week Ive been speaking with someone involved with the parties that is taking this information directly to the premier and minister/ ministry of health to discuss these issues when at the table making decisions. Working on additional PPE is a start and the pandemic pay is also, but it doesn’t end here. We saw recently two health care workers in London have passed away due to COVID and my heart breaks for them and their families. Working at telehealth, we have also been taking calls from New Brunswick due to what’s happened this past week, goes to show that the smallest actions each one of us takes MAKES a DIFFERENCE. It does affect others. We’re seeing thousands of people affected from this situation.

Unfortunately I can say from the many I have cared for/ spoken to over the last few months (and even some very educated individuals I call colleagues + friends) many people are not going to be smart, people think they are above this, invincible, and there will be repercussions on the lives of others. It is likely that as things return to “normal” there will be an inevitable surge in our system as this virus is mainly community acquired now (we are often seeing by those who are asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms if they’re relatively healthy). Masks and gloves won’t protect you from this. Social distancing and washing your hands will.

As a nurse it is extremely hard to hear people talking about this being a conspiracy or this lockdown being due to the governments need for “power” over all of us. With the many disheartening displays of both ignorance and selfishness, it is hard not to feel defeated some days. A kind reminder to everyone that it is more important than ever to think of others right now and this battle is far from over. In fact, it is likely just beginning.

Many of you know this year I am president of the PedNIG (the paediatric nurses interest group for the province) and since we couldn’t celebrate Nursing Week the same way during the year of the nurse, we wanted to do something special to highlight so many of the positive ways nursing has touched us as well and the different made by nurses each day. I was extremely moved by the submissions and involvement of so many nurses young, and retired and their commitment to this profession and their patients. It has reminded me (in a time we probably all need it most) why I am proud to call myself an RN and why I am thankful to have been cared for by so many incredible nurses (and other health professionals) over the years. It has certainly reminded me #WHYINURSE 🩺💜

Find joy in the little things in life and appreciate the people in your life- many others are feeling the empty spaces where their loved ones are supposed to be right now. It is not a joke, not a conspiracy. But we also can’t let it take over our whole lives either. PLEASE be safe, stay home and be smart as we enter into unknown territory. We can’t let our guard down- it will be through all your small actions we make a return to “normal”. Speak to your political leaders about the issues we will be facing in the weeks and months to come, advocate for each other and most of all- be KIND.

Thank you to the many places recognizing and supporting us on the front lines (particularly Starbucks for continuing to support my caffeine dependency). I think it’s important to recognize although things haven’t gotten “that bad” here, in places like NYC people are experiencing things in their careers they should never have to and that will haunt them forever. This thing hasn’t gotten better since we started lock down, and we need to remember as things start to open up,

although we’re feeling burnt out it’s more important than ever that we take appropriate precautions and prevent further spread.

Quite a few people have told me they have been reading my blog during quarantine and have asked to keep the posts coming so now that the thesis is done… here they are! A few new ones including a timely one on how we give to others when we are emotionally spent, and by popular demand some distracting laughs brought to you by my dating life 🙃

Stay safe, stay home, stay healthy friends. 💕

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