It’s coming. The end of this awful pandemic is coming because this too shall pass. But we’ve got an ugly fight ahead of us in our area. I’m a nurse, and I’m proud to say we’re up for it. But we need your help. In one week’s time the number of cases of COVID-19 in Cape Girardeau and surrounding counties has more than tripled. I work in long-term care, and I can tell you it’s here. This is what we need from you:
* Stay home! Every time you go out unnecessarily you put the lives of health care workers (your friends, your family, your neighbors) at risk and make that fight even harder, even longer.
* Spread joy! We all need some joy right now. A simple sign saying Thank-You, a text, a virtual hug, blowing our residents kisses through the window — simple acts of kindness mean everything right now.
* Get creative! If you’re an artist, a musician, a dancer, a carpenter — whatever your talent, share it with us virtually. Record yourself and send us the link so our residents have a reason to smile. This is a lonely time for them. They’re stuck in their rooms, away from their friends, out of their normal routine. We need the smiles.
* Make masks and face shields. I can tell you now, we do not have enough. Can’t sew? Cut fabric for those that can. Can’t get to the store? Order supplies online — they’re pretty cheap. Get your kids involved! They’re out of school and bored anyway. Make good use of that time and teach them true philanthropy.
I said it’s coming and it is — it’s already here. But you know what else is coming? Spring, true blue skies and bright flowers. And I believe, truly, that this pandemic is giving us a chance to rethink our world. What’s coming after all this hell? Children who will grow up to be amazing and compassionate leaders, new reforms on conversation, a new respect for those considered essential to keep life moving, and a new appreciation for our families and our communities.
I’m a nurse. I haven’t slept much lately. I’ve cried buckets of tears that you’ll never see. I’ve kept that smile and dug deep for the courage. We’re in for an ugly fight. Please help us however you can.
God Bless and stay safe.
Wendy Boren is a registered nurse who resides in Tamms, Illinois.