As cities and businesses begin to slowly re-open around the world, think back to a year ago.  Life was normal. We were hustling to our jobs, to our schools.  We were thinking of the next event on our social calendar.  Fast forward six months later and we hear rumblings of a virus and think it’s never going to reach us. Fast forward three months later and everything comes to a screeching halt as the virus extends worldwide. Panic spreads and fear take over the populace. But one group is steadfast and calm. Nurses. They show unconquerable spirit throughout.

This week, the world has come together to celebrate nurses.  The theme this year is, Nurses: A Voice to Lead — Nursing the World to Health.  It was developed to showcase how nurses are central to addressing a wide range of health challenges.

Nurses have always played a significant role in healing humanity, and steadfastly continue to do so. Working in an ever-evolving environment that is challenging and stressful; nurses adapt and diversify to help coordinate patient care in every medical field.

With the outbreak of Covid-19, and patients spilling into the hospitals, they not only have to deal with the virus itself but anger, frustration, racism, and ignorance. As well, nurses are at a higher risk of transmitting the virus to their families.  For this reason, some nurses have had to make an unfortunate sacrifice by self-isolating from their families to protect them.  They self-isolate in their basements, renting rooms, or sleeping in tents, even in their cars. Self-isolating from families can be most stressful, especially for nurses with young families.

Some nurses have no choice but to go home and go through the arduous task of meticulous self-decontamination, before permitting themselves to have any contact with their family.

Nurses are the heart of healthcare. They are an inspiration because they do it for the love of the profession. They believe that everyone deserves a fighting chance, regardless of their political leaning, religious belief, sexual orientation, gender, or occupation. They value health care, and their decisions are grounded in values and ethics.  At the end of a shift or two, they go home with aching backs and feet only to wake up the next day and do it all over again.

Nurses work tirelessly to protect the needs of the individual, and because of nurses, we are getting closer to “back to normal”. Thank you for getting us through this pandemic.  Your sacrifice has not gone unnoticed. You have earned our full admiration and respect.  The struggle is real.