Quarantine journals: March 31

184,183 diagnosed.

3,721 deaths (more than 9-11).

6,043 recovered.

*****

A calm hovers over the panic.

Do you feel it?

People helping people.

People cheering us on.

Several local Sunday small groups made signs for us nurses, signs saying we are brave and strong and heroes, and when we came to work Monday morning they were hanging all over the walls to welcome us when we arrived.

I’ve never thought of myself as a hero.

Just a nurse.

When I think about heroes I think of Band of Brothers or 911 first responders, Frodo or Batman, or Ryan White or Ruby Bridges.

Not me.

But I will say

all my best friends who are

nurses are heroes to me.

The ones who pick up shifts even when they’re

scared;

the managers who encourage anxiety-ridden staff and build their teams even

stronger in the midst

of chaos. The ones who are in the ERs and ICUs who wear

body fluids like regular old daily accessories

and think

nothing of it. Even now.

They are the heroes. Always

have been. Always

will be.

I guess I am one of them too. Twenty-seven years under my belt. But the title still seems

reserved for them, my comrades,

my beloved friends

in the trenches

with me.

With each other.

Always.

So bring on the signs and hero-calling and late night mask-sewing-sessions. None of us

are good

at taking compliments. But I can tell you

your encouragement matters.

The battle is unforgiving, unrelenting, unimaginable, and unreal.

Keep telling nurses

they are heroes.

If you say it enough we just may

believe it.

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