I know for a fact masks work to prevent the transmission of our germs from one being to another. That’s why we wear them in operating rooms. Everywhere. Globally. Because they work.
We wear masks to protect our patients. For many days before any symptoms emerge— we are all carriers. Of anything we might ‘catch’. From the flu to the common cold to TB to COVID. By the time symptoms appear — you have already been contagious for any number of days. Because your symptoms are your body’s response to the virus or bacteria that have taken up residence. The virus or bacteria, on the other hand, has been busy growing and spreading under your body’s radar. This is called an incubation period and is common for every germ — everywhere.
I was exposed to COVID this summer. A significant exposure. During that time while I was waiting to see if the virus would take hold of me, those long two weeks where I considered that they might be my last two weeks on Earth in decent health — I always, always wore a mask if I left my house. Even to walk the 400 steps to my mailbox. I wore it to protect anyone I might encounter.
We wear masks to protect each other. When you see me walking around my neighborhood in a mask — don’t assume I’m afraid of the danger. I might very well be recovering from COVID or another infection and I might be protecting YOU.
The arrival and distribution of a COVID vaccine is a miracle of gigantic proportions. All my former co-workers are getting vaccinated with enthusiasm and enormous relief. We lost too many of our own this year to be cynical anymore.
I understand that many Humans out there are distrustful of — everything. Not without just cause in some cases because The American People have been lied to by those in power.
But I ask you to please listen to the nurses who are down in it — The COVID Storm. They wear masks so much and so long the skin breaks down on their faces. They are being vaccinated to be able to stay well. So to care for All. The. Patients. Nurses do not lie. In fact, most of the time as the patient’s advocate — they speak uncomfortable truths to The Powers That Be.
Nurses are always on the side of the patient. Always.
Please wear your mask in public. Please keep social distancing. Please get vaccinated when you can. Please trust a nurse.
In Loving Memory of my friend The Irishman who passed away from the complications of COVID this afternoon. May the road rise up to meet you Old Friend — till we meet again.