April 17, 2020

Is it OK to be afraid?

Martha Phillips, a veteran ER nurse, has taken numerous trips overseas to provide emergency aid, including a trip to West Africa during the Ebola crisis. Stateside again and working in the ED of a Washington hospital amidst the spread of COVID-19, Phillips has been asked by her colleagues, "Is it ok the be afraid?" For someone who has spent years risking her own life, her answer is unsurprisingly pragmatic: Of course it's ok. Phillips shares, "It's really important that we continue to tell them [nurses] that they have nothing to be guilty about, that they are not lesser nurses because of it [...] Were we adequately supplied and protected, the terror would be much less." Read more

Moral injury: the heavy burden of caring for the sick —

Nurses and healthcare providers train to support and preserve life. We train to provide comfort, medical expertise, and reassurance to our patients and their families, which is how we build their trust. Yet, in this current pandemic, where supplies, equipment, and human capital are at dangerously low levels, healthcare providers are expected to set aside their training and even their humanity to make decisions based on the broader well-being of society and themselves. Defined as "moral injury," this type of psychological damage can have lasting effects on health care providers. Where does this leave us? There are measures facilities and leaders can take, but they must take them early. Read more

Just who is immune to COVID-19? —

Many studies that follow evidence from historical flu outbreaks show that recovered patients acquire a heightened immune response (and thus less severe, if at all present, symptoms) the next time the virus comes around. The assumption right now is that following a successful recovery from COVID-19, patients will experience increased resilience over the short to medium term (at least a year), before they again become more susceptible to the same virus. While this science is nothing new, it supports the potential effectiveness of herd immunity and recovery resilience until we can create and widely distribute a vaccine. Read more

CATVID-19... too soon? —

A recent study out of China found that COVID-19 replicates poorly in dogs, pigs, chickens, and ducks, but that it can spread more easily through ferrets and cats. Ferrets, accordingly, have become a strong model for the testing and evaluating of antiviral drugs and vaccines. The research also found that cats were more susceptible to the virus via airborne infection and thus advises closer watch of your furry felines. Read more

Who's taking extra steps for our safety? —

Justin the FedEx Driver. Upon arriving at the location of his next delivery, he saw a sign taped to the door that warned of an immunocompromised individual living in the house. So, he pulled out a sanitation wipe and made sure the package he was delivering was as clean as possible before leaving it at the resident's doorstep. He left a small note written on the box, informing the resident that he had wiped it down. The recipients, an 11-year-old girl with Type 1 Diabetes and her family, were so grateful that they blasted Twitter with praise for Justin. Thank you to Justin and all delivery workers who are still working and doing their utmost to contain the spread while doing so! Read more

Who's benefiting from the pandemic? —

Mother nature. Relentless for decades, humans had forced wildlife back, until recently. When COVID-19 and isolation became the current norm, many species took the chance to push back: wild boar have returned to the streets of Spain, goats are parading around a town in Wales, whales are cutting through shipping lanes in the Mediterranean, and turtles are finally roaming unperturbed. While some of these changes are clear, short-term cause-and-effect happenings, there's hope that these observable results will spur global efforts toward more environmental protections. Read more

And guess who's back, back again —

John Krasinski is back again with Some Good News, Ep. 3! The highlights include some creative at-home sports, a surprise thank you to healthcare workers, and a 104-year-old WWII veteran (and now COVID-19 survivor) who had this to say about his recovery: "I don't know... it just went away." Read more

Clockin' Out ✌

"Having some states lock down while others don't is like having a peeing section in a swimming pool."