“The Situation Is Critical”
Normally, I chat with you all on the podcast and it’s usually (I hope) encouraging. I’m writing you today because the COVID crisis is at a dire precipice.
The simple truth of our current predicament is that we all need to do more. The current status of the Coronavirus battle is critical. Safety and prevention policies and programs are clearly just not working. As a nurse for 28 years, I have delivered plenty of bad news and I always try to emphasize the positive and to provide comfort; but right now, in this moment, I am personally and professionally dismayed. And frightened. And, to be completely transparent – I am enraged. I know from reading your posts and e-mails that many of you feel the same. You’re tired, too. I totally get it. I’m going to give you a big virtual hug and then I’m going to tell you that I need you to buckle up, batten down and join me in actually doing more. (The good news here is two-fold: not only will your action help to slow the spread and devastation of the pandemic; but it will make you feel better, too. Whenever we take action – particularly with purpose – we are bolstered. Plus, you’re brain will provide you with a wonderful burst of seratonin and dopamine to boost not only your mood, but your immune system, too.)
So, Dear Readers, I am passionately calling upon all of you to continue taking good care of yourselves and your families – and to immediately take more care of the entire country and all of the inhabitants of this small, blue planet we cling to, hurtling through space and time together like dandelion seeds.
At the moment of this writing, I hear doom and gloom from the radio. I begin to feel despair. I want not to be the nurse with his “hair on fire;” I want to be your cheerleader, instead. But I honestly begin to find it difficult to pull the words out of the ether, to find that magic combination of inspiration that will spark you to take action, but without causing panic or dismay. And, so, I breathe in. (It’s really all I can do…) And, I breathe out. As my adrenalin wanes and my senses return, I remember: there is always hope. There are always positive steps we can take, no matter how overwhelming a situation appears to be. (Sometimes, it really does help to just return to the basics.)
With those very basics in mind, one of the first important things you can do is review your personal/family safety plans; as the TAQ Staff recently wrote, the time is now to “Double Down” on your precautions and to Level Up on your coping tools. And you’re going to need them; because, in order to gain control over this outbreak and minimize further pain and more loss of life, we are all going to need to work to motivate others so that they, too, take this seriously and take precautions. Unless 90% of the country begins to wear masks and socially distance now, we are going to lose this battle. (The TAQ “Survival Guide” is another great, easy tool to use to make sure you and your loved ones are safe.)
Next on your “To Do” list: speak with others in your community, workplace, etc. Consider how you might persuade citizens and elected officials in your own personal way and take action on it. Whether it’s phone calls, e-mails, Tweets, art and posters or marching in the streets – your fellow Americans need you. (And, frankly, we in the healthcare profession need you. We will continue to save lives in emergency rooms and COVID units across this country. But you could help us greatly by spreading these messages and encouraging smart legislation. Anyone that hears you and engages in physical distancing, masking, etc. will absolutely limit the spread and reduce the number of severely ill people who come through our doors.)
Action = Improvement: Join Us
If you have the time and energy and feel that you can join us, please do (and welcome aboard!). There are volunteer opportunities available with TAQ to write, create motivational content or simply share your stories with us for the blog and/or podcast. For those with less free time, you can simply follow us and other trusted sources on social media and help us to spread evidence-based and encouraging messages and stories.
If you are financially able, please consider making a charitable donation to the TAQ organization. We operate on a truly micro-budget and are all-volunteer (up until now, that is; our leadership just began to hire some free-lance writers and an intern to help us). But we need you. And, quite honestly, we need funding to be able to continue and to develop effective media strategies and inspire behavior change (in far too many people that remain either ignorant or obstinate in the face of this pandemic).
I know I speak for the entire team when I say Thank You – thank you for listening to the podcast, reading the blog and for all you have done and continue to do to help your communities amidst these difficulties. I will “see” you on the podcast very soon and I will continue to enjoy our chats on social media. I’m sending much love and strength to each and every one of you.
~ By: Langdon Bosarge, RN, BSN Host, This American Quarantine podcast