For years there has been a growing concern that healthcare was suffering major shortages in literally every profession across the board. Unfortunately, many laypersons had been going through life totally unaware of just how critical the shortage of doctors and nurses really was. Sadly, it took something as devastatingly widespread like a pandemic to enlighten us as to the very real plight ahead. It had been projected that the critical shortage in healthcare workers wouldn’t reach a serious level for a couple decades but the pandemic has other plans. As cases begin spiking again and people are being urged to stay sheltered as much as possible, maybe you could use this time to think about the various ways in which you, personally, can respond to SARS-CoV-2, commonly referred to as COVID.
1. Take Decisive Action to Make an Impact in Your Community
What many people are realizing is that for years they have been living in a bubble, unaware of some of the major issues facing the world today. From global warming to human rights to that critical shortage of healthcare workers, there is always something you can learn or do to have a positive impact in your community. Once confronted with the very real possibility that shortages within healthcare may present an inability to schedule a doctor’s visit or an elective surgery, it may be time to think about a career change. If you have a bachelor’s degree, then there is a way to go into a fast track to add another major to your accomplishments. Take a few minutes to learn about Baylor University’s online accelerated BSN programs for non-nurses. Have you been thinking of how you can help soften the blow by the diminishing number of nurses? This may be a great opportunity to advance quickly.
2. Follow the Science
There is another portending catastrophic global event unfolding before our very eyes, yet many choose to ignore it, or deny its very existence. This would be the climatic changes being brought about by global warming. It is not difficult to follow all the scientific data as its released to see just how quickly these changes are coming about – from the greater number of hurricanes drifting across the Atlantic, to floods in the East, droughts in the Midwest and West, along with a record-shattering number of fires in the Northwest. Some of the world’s leading climatologists are saying that there is evidence pointing to the fact that global warming and a breakdown of the ozone layer are happening much sooner and stronger than previously anticipated.
3. Be Open to Possibilities
If there is one ‘good’ thing that has come about as a result of the pandemic and the fact that it keeps coming in wave after wave, it would be the fact that it has opened our eyes to very real needs within our own communities. Some of our cities, towns and villages are so short staffed at clinics and hospitals that they are unable to treat patients with serious, but probably not life-threatening symptoms. Others have filled all of their ICU beds, have had to turn general med beds into a makeshift ICU while closing clinics to bring medical staff over to the main hospital to fill in for that critical healthcare shortage mentioned above. If you want to be a part of the solution and not the problem, it is best to stay open to possibilities. Perhaps you can volunteer to deliver groceries to those who are immune compromised and can’t shop for themselves. If you open your heart, there’s always something you can do, even if it’s only a few minutes a week.
4. Avoid Hasty Decisions and Judgments
Have you noticed just how many people made up their minds early on in the pandemic and refuse to budge even an inch since those early days? Many of the same people claiming the pandemic is a fake brought about by an attempt at government control will not be moved in their convictions. Then there are those on the other side of the aisle who try to lay blame of the rapid spread of the virus on those who refuse to get vaccinated. Instead of making rash, uninformed decisions, no matter which stance you take, it would be best to take the time to understand that we are a world of individuals who are each a part of the same world.
Have you stopped to consider that both groups ‘may’ have valid points for their beliefs? Yes, follow the science, but that doesn’t mean that vaccines are infallible. Data suggests that 99.999% of all those who have been vaccinated will not get seriously ill or end up on the end of a ventilator tube struggling for each breath. However, on the flip side, it doesn’t mean that vaccines are dangerous for the majority of people. Some people really do have a serious reaction to vaccines of any kind so we need to be tolerant of those with real issues. It’s a matter of being there for your community, no matter which side of the fence they live on!
5. Deny Everything and Live in the Me Generation
This is seriously a way you ‘could’ respond to SARS-CoV-2, but it is hoped that you wouldn’t do that. Again, no matter what you believe about the virus, its mortality rate, the precautions, or the vaccine, it behooves you to understand that everyone has rights and needs. What you do has an impact on everyone around you from family members to the community at large.
Yes, you are important and your rights and needs should be respected. However, when you can’t respect those very same needs in others, it will be difficult to live and breathe in a society made up of individuals with unique situations. At this point, it might be good to think about that career in nursing! Those nurses are experiencing burnout at such a rate that we are losing huge numbers to exhaustion, mental stress, illness, COVID and yes, mandated vaccinations.
The only way we can affect change is to be a part of the solution, not the problem. So, what will your response be?