Readers Speak Out: STAY HOME!
Every morning Facebook asks what’s on my mind. What has been on my mind every morning for a month? Our healthcare workers. I have been a nurse 32 years and I have seen a lot. I have listened to you, encouraged you, and saved you from harm.
I have held your loved ones’ hands when you were not there to see their last breath. I took care of many, MANY dying of AIDS in Philadelphia when that scourge first hit our streets. This was before safety needles and universal bloodborne pathogen protections existed. I went to work unafraid.
I have loved this beautiful career and have asked for little in return from my community, asked for nothing from my patients. I am asking you for something NOW. TODAY. RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW.
STOP. SHOPPING. STAY HOME.
The coronavirus will not stop multiplying because you have an extra roll of toilet paper.
I have spent my later years as a nurse in graduate studies learning how pandemics spread and how viruses multiply. This is not a new situation. Not really. Only now we have the benefits of modern media to share and learn. It is through HUMAN CONTACT, my dears.
The horse has already left the barn and our elected leaders have failed us terribly. Our Idaho governor is planning to manage the problem by letting communities fend for themselves and have retired workers come out of hiding to pick up the pieces. BAD IDEA Governor Little. Shame on you for even suggesting people over 60 return to work to fight a virus that can kill them.
Idahoans...listen please. We cannot go back. It is too late for some, but not for all.
Idaho still has a fighting chance. Take a look at the map on the CDC website. Look at the cases in Washington. How many of you cross over into Washington?
The virus is coming. We know from history rural communities survived the 1918 pandemic when they closed the doors and kept outsiders away. That is extreme, but it worked.
The one thing you can do right now that we know without any doubt will work to minimize the damage is to STAY HOME. Seriously. This is our only hope to halt the progression, limit the casualties.
It is not true that “we will get through this.” Some of us will not. Some of them will be healthcare workers. My friends. My comrades. Your neighbors.
You know, that one you call every time you have a medical question? Yes, that one. They are asking you to stay home.
My heart is breaking for what they are having to face across this country. What they will have to face here in Idaho if we do nothing to hold back the tide.
All we ask of you right now is to do your part. YOU can make one less person show up at our Emergency Department, asking for a ventilator we do not have.
YOU can make one less person infecting their families and having to communicate from a smartphone while their loved one dies alone. You have the power.
If we all buckle up and do this, take this seriously and do this right, starve the virus of what it needs to live...human contact... just a few weeks and the band-aid can come off and the wound can heal.
Please. I beg you. STAY HOME. Pass it on.
Marian Wilson, PhD, MPH, RN-BC
Update, March 25:
Gov. Little has just announced a stay at home order. This is exactly what we need and will surely save many lives. Thank you, Gov. Little!