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Nurses Care

It's not just a job.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020 to be the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife in recognition of the contributions they make and the risks to humanity associated with nursing shortages. This article is written by nurses, for nurses and for the world.

The world is now challenged and frightened by a new mutation of the Corona virus called COVID-19. This virus has an incubation period of up to two weeks, the symptoms are similar to any other flu. Some infected people have no symptoms but can infect others. It is spread from person to person through droplets in the air and on surfaces.

Developing strategies for containing the virus are quarantine, public health education, screening, closing schools, canceling large gatherings, and telling sick workers to stay home. Research on a vaccine is currently underway. The public is responding by decreasing travel, avoiding public places, stocking up on essentials for possible quarantine, and finding alternate ways of greeting without shaking hands.

A broader assessment of this virus is its impact on society. It was on December 31, 2019, that China alerted WHO of several cases of unusual pneumonia in  the manufacturing and port city of Wuhan. Today, less than three months later, this virus has spread worldwide and new cases are added daily. The stock market is crashing, companies are closing their doors, layoffs and furloughs are rampant, hoarding of food and other products is evident, states of emergency are being declared and a deep and debilitating fear of death is beginning to permeate humankind.

We know that modern nurses can alter our own perspectives and imagine how this seeming threat to our very survival also offers possible solutions and means for preventing such outbreaks in the future and perhaps even alter our definition of health.

COVID-19 is showing us that we are not above nature, but are part of it.The ability of a tiny, microscopic entity to create such havoc among humans demonstrates how everything in nature is integrally connected. This realization is life-changing because we begin to comprehend how the egoistic actions of humankind are deeply disturbing the whole of nature.

Robust health, both within our bodies and within the system of nature, is supported by maintaining balance and harmony. We feel alarmed at the deaths so far from this microbe but, long before any strain of the Coronavirus began infecting mankind, millions died of depression, obesity, lung cancer and other conditions brought on by unhealthy lifestyles.

World leaders and nation-states are being pushed to suspend hostilities in order to collaborate on strategies for containing the virus. Even wars seem less likely, as assembling troops could spread infection. This is a monumentally important development. Imagine the implications of that – nations unite around fighting this disease instead of each other.

Health agencies worldwide are establishing guidelines for containment of COVID-19, thus literally forcing all of us to care for each other. Washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes with tissues, and other such measures establish social responsibility, putting others ahead of self.

There is a dawning realization that material acquisition cannot bring well-being. No amount of money or things can protect us from this virus (or hurricanes, tsunamis, or volcanoes). As we think about protecting our families, friends, and neighbors, we feel the inner peace and happiness that comes from human connection.

We are seeing a forced slowing-down of life as we know it in the 21st century as people travel less, stay home from school or work, avoid crowds and large events, and in general pay more attention to only what is necessary for survival. Can this be all bad?

In general, COVID-19 draws our attention to how much we are out of alignment with the inner and immutable laws of nature—interdependence, altruism, balance, harmony, interconnection, and unity.

Of high importance is education, called health teaching by nurses—how to wash hands correctly, cover coughs and sneezes and follow guidelines for the prevention of contracting or passing on the disease. These strategies, however, address only the disease. Nursing plans of care are aimed at the whole patient, including family, environmental, cultural, religious/spiritual needs as well as adjustments in lifestyles that may be required.

Within a few weeks, we have watched the astounding impact of COVID-19 around the globe, such that we may be seeing the preview of an entirely new paradigm in human relationships, especially if the economic and social changes we are already observing escalate. How can we teach the patients, families, and communities stricken with this virus? Only together can we create out of a fractured society something new and bright and loving, one where we value each other above everything else.

Nature is giving us a huge “time out” from our normal lives to reassess the true parameters of what health entails. There will be a certain amount of forced separation in order to curb the spread of a highly contagious virus. But out of that, as we begin to experience less outward distractions we can rediscover closeness in our families, care for our neighbors and the kindness of strangers. We are discovering the energizing and healing power of meaningful connections.

As nurses, our entire education has focused on correct connections: between systems within the body; between the social networks of family & friends; between the environment and the world; and between the individual and their soul.

Now is the time for us to raise our awareness of the need for connection among ourselves in a correct and balanced manner so that we have the strengths and resources to serve the world.

The message to the world from us as nurses is not to worry. As you are discovering how connected we all are and enjoying new sensations of caring and loving, we will be there for you. We carry our compassion and experience with us learned during the AIDS epidemic, MERS and SARS, and brushes with Ebola. We are there during disasters, sometimes traveling to attend to victims. We are always on call. This is the legacy that we proudly carry.

Mary Miesem, RN, MA, LPCC, LADAC (all licenses retired), Linda Wooddell RN, BSN,

The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020 to be the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife in recognition of the contributions they make and the risks to humanity associated with nursing shortages. This article is written by nurses, for nurses and for the world.

The world is now challenged and frightened by a new mutation of the Corona virus called COVID-19. This virus has an incubation period of up to two weeks, the symptoms are similar to any other flu. Some infected people have no symptoms but can infect others. It is spread from person to person through droplets in the air and on surfaces.

Developing strategies for containing the virus are quarantine, public health education, screening, closing schools, canceling large gatherings, and telling sick workers to stay home. Research on a vaccine is currently underway. The public is responding by decreasing travel, avoiding public places, stocking up on essentials for possible quarantine, and finding alternate ways of greeting without shaking hands.

A broader assessment of this virus is its impact on society. It was on December 31, 2019, that China alerted WHO of several cases of unusual pneumonia in  the manufacturing and port city of Wuhan. Today, less than three months later, this virus has spread worldwide and new cases are added daily. The stock market is crashing, companies are closing their doors, layoffs and furloughs are rampant, hoarding of food and other products is evident, states of emergency are being declared and a deep and debilitating fear of death is beginning to permeate humankind.

We know that modern nurses can alter our own perspectives and imagine how this seeming threat to our very survival also offers possible solutions and means for preventing such outbreaks in the future and perhaps even alter our definition of health.

COVID-19 is showing us that we are not above nature, but are part of it.The ability of a tiny, microscopic entity to create such havoc among humans demonstrates how everything in nature is integrally connected. This realization is life-changing because we begin to comprehend how the egoistic actions of humankind are deeply disturbing the whole of nature.

Robust health, both within our bodies and within the system of nature, is supported by maintaining balance and harmony. We feel alarmed at the deaths so far from this microbe but, long before any strain of the Coronavirus began infecting mankind, millions died of depression, obesity, lung cancer and other conditions brought on by unhealthy lifestyles.

World leaders and nation-states are being pushed to suspend hostilities in order to collaborate on strategies for containing the virus. Even wars seem less likely, as assembling troops could spread infection. This is a monumentally important development. Imagine the implications of that – nations unite around fighting this disease instead of each other.

Health agencies worldwide are establishing guidelines for containment of COVID-19, thus literally forcing all of us to care for each other. Washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes with tissues, and other such measures establish social responsibility, putting others ahead of self.

There is a dawning realization that material acquisition cannot bring well-being. No amount of money or things can protect us from this virus (or hurricanes, tsunamis, or volcanoes). As we think about protecting our families, friends, and neighbors, we feel the inner peace and happiness that comes from human connection.

We are seeing a forced slowing-down of life as we know it in the 21st century as people travel less, stay home from school or work, avoid crowds and large events, and in general pay more attention to only what is necessary for survival. Can this be all bad?

In general, COVID-19 draws our attention to how much we are out of alignment with the inner and immutable laws of nature—interdependence, altruism, balance, harmony, interconnection, and unity.

Of high importance is education, called health teaching by nurses—how to wash hands correctly, cover coughs and sneezes and follow guidelines for the prevention of contracting or passing on the disease. These strategies, however, address only the disease. Nursing plans of care are aimed at the whole patient, including family, environmental, cultural, religious/spiritual needs as well as adjustments in lifestyles that may be required.

Within a few weeks, we have watched the astounding impact of COVID-19 around the globe, such that we may be seeing the preview of an entirely new paradigm in human relationships, especially if the economic and social changes we are already observing escalate. How can we teach the patients, families, and communities stricken with this virus? Only together can we create out of a fractured society something new and bright and loving, one where we value each other above everything else.

Nature is giving us a huge “time out” from our normal lives to reassess the true parameters of what health entails. There will be a certain amount of forced separation in order to curb the spread of a highly contagious virus. But out of that, as we begin to experience less outward distractions we can rediscover closeness in our families, care for our neighbors and the kindness of strangers. We are discovering the energizing and healing power of meaningful connections.

As nurses, our entire education has focused on correct connections: between systems within the body; between the social networks of family & friends; between the environment and the world; and between the individual and their soul.

Now is the time for us to raise our awareness of the need for connection among ourselves in a correct and balanced manner so that we have the strengths and resources to serve the world.

The message to the world from us as nurses is not to worry. As you are discovering how connected we all are and enjoying new sensations of caring and loving, we will be there for you. We carry our compassion and experience with us learned during the AIDS epidemic, MERS and SARS, and brushes with Ebola. We are there during disasters, sometimes traveling to attend to victims. We are always on call. This is the legacy that we proudly carry.

Co-authors: Mary Miesem, RN, MA, LPCC, LADAC (all licenses retired)Susan Morales-Kosinec RN, MSN, HTP, Debra Hawrysko, RN, Siv Andersen RN, BSN

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