From my childhood on, I have been taught about the power of words. The ditty went “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” This made perfect sense back then; however, today we know that long after our bones heal, mean, nasty words hurt us and have a devastating effect.
I think I’m going to fare poorly when it comes time to fully return to a post COVID-19 world. I’ve been faithfully wearing my masks and gloves and staying home, using the bank and pharmacy drive thru, and staying away from people in the grocery store. I haven’t been shopping since March 15, and I canceled all deliveries, repairs, cable and telephone upgrades. When I say I have been sheltering at home since March 15, I mean it, and I intend to continue.
Over the past year, Roger and I have had lots of chances to see nurses in action. I was hospitalized for the first time in 15 years and he was hospitalized twice and each time we were blessed with wonderful nurses and assistants who were careful, safety-minded, responsive, kind, and patient. Each time their non-anxious presence was calming, and we wondered if they ever went home because they always seemed to be around. Their concern for our well being made being sick not so bad.
This week’s recognition of nurses is well deserved. During this COVID-19 crises we have heard about the shortage of nurses, their working conditions, dedication, family sacrifices, and the risks they’ve taken to care for their patients, often putting themselves at the bottom of the list. Their long shifts, increasing patient load, added risk of caring for sick and dying patients, all should help us remember and appreciate these unsung heroes and heroines in the days ahead. I pray as things reopen and settle down, we remember to recognize and celebrate these important medical professionals.
I read this message on a bumper I was probably too close to the other day and I smiled. May is National Teachers Appreciation Month so if you’re looking for an opportunity to say thanks, this is it. After parents and grandparents spent the past month helping with teaching and homework for home bound students, I suspect there will be extra thanks swirling around our teachers, principals and other school personnel.