April 3, 2020

How long will distancing last?

While the Federal government first announced that social distancing measures would last until April 12, this date was recently pushed back until April 30. While to some this may seem too far away -- and for others, too soon -- the decision ultimately remains in the hands of each individual state. “For the most part, when we have public health concerns, they arise mostly at the local and state level [...] It’s the same reason why drivers licenses are different — it’s from the same decentralized system," says Ross Silverman, professor of health policy at Indiana University. Florida, for one, has still been using regional levels of decision making in terms of distancing, until very recently. So, how long will distancing last for you? Best to ask your state leaders.

The health effects of quarantine and isolation —

"I miss the ability to see, converse with, hug, or spend time with friends. Life seems shallower, more like survival than living," says journalist Robin Wright. While the immediate health impacts of COVID-19 are very clear, the psychological effects, both concurrent and those that will surely arise in the wake of this virus, are less so. Over long periods of time, chronic loneliness can lead to things like higher blood pressure and heart rates, increased amounts of cortisol and other stress hormones, and ultimately increased rates of mortality. And those aren't even the mental and emotional effects... PTSD, depression, anxiety, the list goes on. Yet, while these side effects are certainly negative, perhaps there is something in acknowledging our need to connect with others and form communities. We'll continue to do so online for now, but perhaps we won't take future meets-ups, parties, and communal events for granted as we may have done in the past.

Should we all be wearing masks? —

Following data out of China and some other hard-hit COVID-19 countries, the general public might soon be advised to wear masks. While this form of protection will be of the DIY variety, to keep valuable resources in the hands of front line practitioners, general public mask wearing has shown to be effective for those venturing out for essentials, even once a week. The CDC is considering changes to their original position on taking measures to cover your face when in public, whether with DIY masks or scarf-like alternatives. However, some experts worry that this will only create a false sense of security and thus limit efforts of social distancing. According to Future, the rapper behind the 2017 hit "Mask Off," it's time to "Mask On."

Itching to help? Here's how you can —

We've heard from nurses everywhere that they're looking for different ways to help and be part of the solution. For some of us, the most impactful (and obvious) way we can do this is through direct patient care, but that doesn't mean that's the only way we can help. While there are dozens of organizations raising money for various causes, some additional ways you can get involved are by donating blood (and encouraging others to do so), delivering meals and groceries to vulnerable and immunocompromised populations, adopting or fostering pets, and educating as well as creating awareness about proper safety guidelines and social distancing.

What's hindering cross-state care? —

While at least 38 states have now submitted waivers to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, thus allowing them to drop certain licensure requirement for out-of-state medical professionals, respective licensure requirements and non-compact status remain some of the major hinderances to a more expedient response to pandemics like COVID-19. This is one of the many reasons why states like California should join the Nurse Licensure Compact in case of future emergency events.

Finding life and learning through loss —

Nursing professor Kimberly Acquaviva teaches about end-of-life topics, including the challenges of hospice and palliative care. Recently, when her wife -- also an expert on end-of-life care -- was diagnosed with a fatal form of cancer, they decided to turn their situation (and home) into an educational one. They converted their home into a virtual classroom, inviting students and others interested to witness the "intimate details of dying," serving as a living example of more varied and inclusive options for those terminally ill.

Uplifting stories from around the world as told by a familiar face in his living room —

From cheering healthcare workers to vow renewals to a cameo from the one and only Michael Scott, here's just a little bit of happiness amongst all the crazines brought to you by Jim Halpert (AKA John Krasinski) himself.

He might be the goodest boy ever —

A retriever named Sunny becomes the goodest boy ever by helping deliver groceries to his elderly neighbor with COPD. He was trained by his human to go fetch his neighbor's grocery list and then return after a trip to the store with her groceries. Ok, we really don't deserve dogs.

Clockin' Out ✌

"Why aren't there handles on doors anymore?"
"I think it's time I tell you about the year 2020."