It has been exactly one year, since the WHO declared the advent of Covid-19, a “Pandemic.” At newly elected President, Joseph Biden’s address to the Nation last evening, he took well-justified pride at the universal sighting of ”a light at the end of the tunnel” respecting this widespread, contagious, and potentially mortal disease (more than 550, 000 American deaths in the year). The vision of the tunnel’s proverbial exit light was, in no small part, due to his, so far, brief, Administration’s efficient and empathic program of management of the viral disease outbreak, and his appropriate respect (unlike his incapable, ignorant predecessor) for medical and biological science. Programs of prophylactic caution, such as quarantine, distancing masking and effective handwashing, publicly encouraged by the new Administration and its knowledgeable and caring experts, where complied with, were rewarded by intended results.
Kudos are deservedly awarded for the brilliance and creativity of the American medical and pharmaceutical professions, for their demonstrated efficiency and unprecedented expedition in the development of (3) safe and effective vaccines; each capable of affording immunity from the scourge of the dangerous virus. As known, the Nation is presently involved in a governmental program of universal administration of covid vaccination, the efficient, complicated and nuanced logistics for which, is an additional occasion for the grant of well- deserved kudos; to the caring, sensitive, and empathic new Administration of Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris.
It may well be that the most profound honorable mention, in this instance, is to be reserved for our health-workers, most particularly, the overworked and under-protected, empathic nurses and nurse practitioners, many of whom actually died, while serving on the frontline of this dangerously infectious battle against the pandemic. Reports indicate that they continued to maintain their long tradition of generosity and heroism in their sincere and unstinting attempts to provide care and save lives; working long shifts, at patient beds and in crowded, dangerous, and nerve-wracking Intensive Care Units, often without a day off and at times, without adequate personal protective equipment (PPE). Reportedly, despite such arduous conditions, the (only) common complaint, reportedly (and admirably) was that they were limited in their personal interaction with their patients and frustrated by what they wanted to do for their patients, compared with what they could not do, by reason of the infectious pathology. The latter, incapability in many morally unforgiveable instances, was due to irresponsible shortages in supplies of protective equipment. Florence Nightingale would have been immensely proud, (see: our very early essay, “Florence’s Lamp”).
It is hoped that society, newly rendered cognizant of the essential role of the professional nurse in our empirically vulnerable population, will robustly support adequately funded nursing schools, nursing education and appropriately recognize and adequately remunerate the practitioners of this supportive and existential pillar of human survival and existence.