COVID-19 has been an issue in the United States since February. The current death rate from this pandemic is 220k and the United States has 4% of the world’s population. Doctors and nurses have been on the front line of this pandemic since the beginning. The American Nurses Association (ANA) reports that half of front line nurses are emotionally overwhelmed as they administer care to those with COVID-19 (ANA, 2020). Over 10,000 nurses were surveyed; 30% complained of having feelings of depression, while 73% were having difficulty sleeping (ANA, 2020).
The nurses complained of experiencing additional stress because they are required to reuse PPE (personal protective equipment) even though they were taught it is designed for single use only. As a result, nurses feel unsafe (ANA, 2020). Contrary to what the public has heard, many hospitals are still experiencing a shortage of PPE (ANA, 2020). The President of the ANA, Ernest Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN testified on behalf of America’s nursing workforce to the Senate Committee on Finance regarding this issue (ANA, 2020). The strain on the country’s medical chain has had a tremendous impact on nursing due to the shortage of PPE.
I do not know if his testimony will make a difference. The Trump Administration likes to brag about their response to the virus and how the virus will just go away. Meanwhile, nurses and other front line workers continue to be severely burned out, tired and overwhelmed.
To make matters worse the CDC, keeps changing the guidelines, regarding the use of PPE, how long individuals should be quarantined, and testing procedures. This has caused medical professionals to revert back to standard infection control guidelines to keep themselves safe. This uncertainty has also affected how the public views the virus, leading to unsafe practices, i.e., no social distancing, or wearing a mask.
For anyone who has had a doubt about the virus, know it is real and catching it may have consequences. It may leave you with a pre-existing condition. Remember, Mr. Trump and the Republican Party are actively trying to disassemble the Affordable Act (Obama Care) and the clause that individuals with pre-exisiting conditions must be covered by insurance companies.
We the people can decide we want to reduce the spread of this virus by listening to science and doing our part. Our part includes washing your hands, practicing social distancing, wearing a mask and avoiding crowds. That is not too much to ask, so that life can return to normal, reduce the death rate and business can once again thrive. Your personal freedom is no more important than the greater good for mankind. It’s interesting that many do no believe they are their brothers keeper, and this is a pandemic meaning its world wide. Be considerate and think of others.
ANA Enterprise News. (2020, September). ANA present testifies on PPE shortage. American Nurse, 15(9), 54.
ANA Enterprise News. (2020, September). Half of frontline nurses emotionally overwhelmed by COVID-19. American Nurse, 15(9), 54.