Medical Professionals – Get Off the Pedestal (if you’re standing on one) Because We Are All in this Together

Earlier today, I saw a viral post from a nurse out of Baton Rouge talking about her experience in an Intensive Care Unit during Covid19. Now, that post is being shared on the social platforms of major local news outlets.

The posts begins…

I get it, some people don’t understand what is going on inside the hospital. To be honest, consider yourself blessed that you aren’t affected by this Covid19. I’ve been on the front lines for three weeks, maybe longer, I stopped counting. I have been working  with some great doctors, respiratory therapist, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, housekeepers, etc. We have all become close because we rely on each other for help, laughter and emotional support during a shift.

So what’s it like the on the front lines? It’s hell. If you don’t want to know what it’s like then stop reading this now.

The post goes on to describe some of the stories this person has experienced as an ICU nurse with some vivid details. I am not here to talk about those details. If you wish to read it, find the post.

I am here to talk about something I honestly buried in my last Covid19 post about two weeks ago due to the sensitivity. It should have been the lead of my column. I wrote about the pedestal that some nurses have been putting themselves on.

I am so sick and tired of the pedestal being built by some of those in the medical field, especially nurses.

Share your experiences, share your pain and by all means be thankful to the people you work closely with or have worked with.

Us as a society, we should be thanking anyone working in the medical field right now. That includes everyone down to housekeepers and janitors. They are in fact dealing with this on the “frontlines” and they are doing their best to tackle it head on.

But that doesn’t mean I am going easy on the criticism for those who deserve it. That doesn’t mean I won’t rip them for insensitive and downright ignorant commentary about the virus.

“To be honest, consider yourself blessed that you aren’t affected by this Covid19.”

Consider myself blessed? Whatever shit you are smoking to put you in some alternate reality like this is Back to the Future, I want some. No, I am not affected by this in the same way you are.

In fact, I came across a video of a medical professional (not 100% of job title) who came home from work and broke down in tears because he could not greet his toddler who ran to him with open arms.

I can’t imagine the pain in every person’s heart who has to reject affection from a child. That would fucking break me beyond belief. Whenever I have gotten something as simple as the common cold, I do my best to distance myself from my son and wife. It sucks. Doing that for weeks? I’m out.

I can’t tell you how many times I have hugged my son through all this because it honestly helps take the stress away for a second.

There are medical professionals who are literally having to give up their children to grandparents, aunts, uncles or trusted friends because they are doing their duty as parents and protecting them.

There are medical professionals who are living in total isolation from relatives because they fear getting other loved ones sick such as parents or grandparents.

I feel sympathy for all of those people. I feel sympathy for all of the medical professionals and “essential” workers who are putting themselves at risk. That includes those working minimum wage jobs in grocery stores, gas stations or any other job or profession right now.

Every time I walk into a grocery store, I know how quickly I want to leave and how nasty I feel being there. I see gloves on the ground, gloves and masks being worn and people coughing wondering to myself if it’s allergies or this shit.

Then I think about the cashier scanning my food or the person stocking the shelves. They have no way out. They have to work to support themselves or their families. Even for teens working part time, what happens if they contract it and give it to a relative and that relative passes away from coronavirus?

We are ALL at fucking risk. We are ALL affected in some way, shape or form. Some more so than others. That is the world we live in each and every day.

My hunger is a different hunger from children in Africa. That doesn’t mean I can’t feel angry when I don’t eat.

There are months when I have to debate getting an oil change for my car to fit my budget. There are people who have to debate between having enough money to feed their kid or take a bus to their job.

Now because there is a shit storm at your front door or workplace, all of sudden your plight gets to be put over the plight of others? No. It doesn’t and you don’t get a pass for that. Right now is an emotional time for healthcare and an emotional time for everyone else too.

Unfortunately, most of the pillar jobs of society have people with this kind of mentality. Again, this isn’t condemning everyone in those professions. It is condemning those who are using this mob like mentality to put themselves over.

It happens in Education. It happens in Law Enforcement. It happens in the Medical field. It happens in our Armed Forces.

To better explain, this isn’t me saying not to fight for better pay or student loans being forgiven etc. That is you fighting for a better life for yourself. I get that.

What I mean is driving the wedge between you and the rest of society. Everyone has a role and a part to play in this. Some are doing that. Some are not.

All it took was 13 words of that post for me to see the entire thing through a foggy lens.

“To be honest, consider yourself blessed that you aren’t affected by this Covid19.”

People are losing jobs. People are forced to stay in thus putting a strain on mental health. Businesses are going under. People are needing government aid to prevent them from spiraling down a hole thus adding to mental health issues.

I could easily say “you have a paycheck. Be thankful for that.” I won’t because I am not going to desensitize your pain and struggles.

Just like I won’t take the easy and insensitive route of saying “well, that’s what you signed up for.” Which ironically I heard from someone when addressing my pain points for the business I am in. Sorry, I didn’t include pandemic into reasoning for potential pain points. Neither did you as a medical professional probably.

We’re all in this thing together. We have to get out of it together. If you’re a nurse or someone in the medical field, don’t drive the wedge by using such ignorant statements or using your job title as a punch line.

One of the first things I do when I see such actions, I look back at past posts to see what medical professionals compared Covid19 to the flu or took this too lightly. Now it makes it even easier to use that wedge against you.

I’ll always thank you for what you do and the difficulties you will face during this pandemic. I am sure there are plenty of medical professionals who will likely suffer from PTSD and need counseling once this is all said and done. You are seeing the worst case scenarios of all this.

If someone is minimizing healthcare professionals, call them out. Do so without calling the rest of society out because I have seen quite the opposite from a societal standpoint. I have seen countless pictures of signs and posts both on social and in the real world. I have seen videos of applause for medical professionals leaving shifts.

Medical professionals deserve our respect. All I am doing is asking for the same respect for not just me, but every person’s pain point who will inevitably deal with hard times from this.

 

 

 

 

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