The world has never been so isolated before. I know I have never felt so alone even though I am still surrounded by people at work everyday. Especially as a nurse! The amount of protective gear we have to wear is crazy but necessary. It is stifling, and restricting, and I am sure it is scary looking to a few of the elderly residents who are not completely alert and oriented. Even to those who are alert, it looks like something out of a movie scene (remember Outbreak?).
In a world with billions of people, we are left alone and afraid of our neighbor. We have lost the joy of human touch, and the personal contact that helps us to remain human. We are unable to reach out a helping hand, a loving hug, or even an encouraging smile because our faces are covered with a mask.
My heart goes out to those who have no one right now, to those alone at home, to those with no family, to those stuck in a healthcare facility with no visitors, to those healthcare workers like me who are afraid to have personal contact with their own families.
I was at work, and a sweet old lady took my hands, and as she started crying she said, “Don’t leave me, please don’t leave me!” And so, I took her hands with my gloved hands, and I looked her in the eye through my face shield, and I stood with her and comforted her for as long as I could even though she is sick, and even though she has tested positive for the coronavirus. You see, my first job as a nurse, and as a human being is to care, to love others and to comfort and lift spirits. I may not be able to fix the world situation right now, but I can make a little difference in this old lady’s life, and bring a little joy and comfort to those I come in contact with.
As we see our world literally changing around us, remember that we are still human. We are still beings who need each other, and are not meant to live alone. I used to think that I could live to myself and didn’t need anyone else. But I found that to just not be true. So, find other ways to reach out right now and make a difference. Send a text, make a phone call, talk on zoom, write a note, just be creative! We will pull through this if we stick together. And I believe, we can come out even stronger!