I Want My Death to Make You Angry

I Want My Death to Make You Angry

by Emily Pierskalla, RN

Emily Pierskalla, RN
MNA Member

MNA Member

What is it like being a nurse in a pandemic? Every day I bounce through the stages of grief like a pinball. The ricochet and whiplash leaves my soul tired and bruised.

Denial: I have spent less and less time in the denial stage. Still, I see many of my loved ones, politicians, and laypersons still stuck in this phase.

Anger: When our elders and immuno-suppressed folks are referred to as disposable members of society, when the pocketbooks of stockholders are considered more important than human lives, when we’ve known for decades this pandemic was coming, I burn with anger, anger at the system that prioritizes profits over health. It’s the system that regularly runs out of “essential” and “critical” supplies seasonally. I have anger knowing the fragility of our supply chain has been exposed time and time again, especially after the earthquakes in Puerto Rico, and yet nothing was done to reinforce them.

Bargaining: The governing bodies bargaining with supply chain availability over scientific evidence.  A paper bag is given magic powers to somehow preserve masks that are already expired and soiled. Droplet precautions are now satisfactory for airborne illnesses (but don’t you dare leave scotch tape on the walls).

Depression: Heaviness in my heart knowing my co-workers and friends will become unwilling sacrifices so the system can continue in its self-destructive path. And there’s grief for the many people I will not have the resources to care for and save.

Acceptance: I have accepted that I will be infected with COVID-19 at some point. I am not scared of getting sick. I am scared of infecting those who will not survive. I check every day on our state’s available hospital beds and ventilators. I wonder, if my illness becomes severe, will there be resources left for me?

And then I’m tagged in another social media post praising me for being “a hero.” And I’m instantly flung back into the pinball machine as my emotions ricochet through the stages.

If I die, I don’t want to be remembered as a hero.

I want my death to make you angry too.

I want you to politicize my death. I want you to use it as fuel to demand change in this industry, to demand protection, living wages, and safe working conditions for nurses and ALL workers.

Use my death to mobilize others.

Use my name at the bargaining table.

Use my name to shame those who have profited or failed to act, leaving us to clean up the mess.

Don’t say “heaven has gained an angel.” Tell them negligence and greed has murdered a person for choosing a career dedicated to compassion and service.

97 Comments

  1. Excellent! I am angry too!!

  2. Thank you Emily. Very well said. I am printing this out and keeping it somewhere special. Hugs!

  3. This is everything I have been feeling during this crisis, beautifully written by a fellow nurse. I hope I don’t get sick. If I do, I hope I survive it. If I die, I hope it has some measurable impact in making sure this system gets fixed. We need to do better for our patients and our medical workers. We all deserve better.

  4. Nurses have trusted their employers to provide a safe workplace for too long. They have failed and that failure is public and inexcusable. In an industry that relies on disposable equipment we need to say nurses are not disposable. No person is disposable.
    It’s time for us to think about firemen who don’t run into a burning building without appropriate equipment even though people may be in the building. Our employers owe us the right equipment . We owe that to ourselves. Never forget their betrayal. Never let this happen again.

  5. So beautifully said, unfortunately the truth of it is not beautiful. Taking her words to action is the best medicine for the future, and there is movement going in now to make changes. To help that movement become a reality people need to inform their politicians of what is important to them. The MNA website is a start!

  6. So Brilliantly summarized!! Nothing to add!!

  7. You are RIGHT

  8. There are no words for the sadness I feel, and the helplessness that I also feel. Only God can fix this now so pray fervently my friends.

  9. Emily, I think you just put into writing the thoughts and opinions of probably every healthcare worker and “essential” person. And…None of us are “disposable” and for anyone to use that word to describe another human being is a fool. This pandemic, I’m afraid, will, or already has, take a toll on our country’s, our world’s healthcare profession and the world of nursing. I suppose, in time, the memories of this horrible time in our lives, will dim , slowly…but we will never forget. I seem to compare these days with the days of 911. Perhaps apple and oranges, but both are such troubled times on our lives.
    It’s a war people! And we nurses and all the “essentials ” and every person, whether they are considered “essential ” or not… LISTEN TO ME!!! YOU ARE ESSENTIAL!! ( not “disposable” ) Each and every one !!
    May God continue to bless us all, and hold our hand and walk with us through this. Continue to be our strength, our hope, our assurance that we can, with His help guidance and love, WE CAN AND WILL WIN THIS WAR ! Let us keep our faith. It’s our most powerful weapon, in this or in any of life’s wars.

  10. Dear Emily, Excellently written piece… speaks to the nursing situation in so many ways…definitely pre-Virus. …a shame… For myself, have been cruising towards retirement as a CRNA, which was brought on early by the virus. Now…. as I remorsefully hear about the staff shortages, and know my motivation to step up to help… I’ve aged into an at-risk category… so, I send what I can… undying support and encouragement. Discussing this with my righteously indignant son, who says of healthcare workers what you say… not “heroes,” but unfortunately placed victims. God Bless. Patrick

  11. This is very well written! Agree 100%!
    Important data on HCWs in CA getting infected with COVID @ 1.8 times higher due to lack of proper PPE.
    https://www.facebook.com/793101519/posts/10158402668501520/
    Face masks were ever designed, tested or recommended to be reused by manufacturers. So nice of CDC and states to provide guidance to reuse so hospitals feel safe from retribution by mandating staff to do so!

  12. Thank you Emily for your heartfelt, astute and articulate straight shooting of prioritizing profits over health. Vote leadership in November. Vote for public health.

  13. This is so well said. I have been retired for a number of years but the system has never cared about the workers be it RNS, LPNS, CNA’S, Housekeeping, RT’S, etc. We are all disposable in the system. I pray this pandemic is a way to change the system. I want to thank you for what you said and what you do.

  14. If you live in the USA You live in a for-profit country regardless of how you want to romanticize it.
    Now you worry about death and disease, when it hits america? When its been battering other places forever.

    You either get into healthcare for the money, or you do it to help other and make a change. You CANNOT do it for both. Its just not possible. You might think it is if you work for a for-profit hospital or clinic, but you are really just seeing people get healthy as their financial status gets unhealthy.
    So grab a hold of yourself if you are going to work in healthcare during a pandemic and realize what type of place you are working for…for profit or not, and then decide if you can handle each models repercussions

  15. Perfect commentary on our current society. I also am angry at this situation. Other posts have discussed hero vs sacrificial lamb as well.
    We will NOT forget this abuse and betrayal!!!!

  16. I would be happy to grant your posthumous request. First of all I hope you and all front line workers survive this disaster, but being a former front line worker in a similar disaster about 2 decades ago you and I both know that wish of mine is not realistic. Secondly I completely agree with your point about anger for the “disposable part of our population”. I feel that way about our older and infirmed folk first hand and even more so about our innocent defenceless in uterine folk who are butchered daily. Thirdly I absolutely agree with your argument about putting the pocketbooks of the few over the lives of the many which is why I’m so dead set against governmental models designed for the few in control such as communism and socialism and support our form of free enterprise and government for the people. Fourthly I couldn’t agree more with your point about PPE’s and the unpreparedess of our institutions which I fear are more and more being run by college educated idiots that get their point of unrealistic worldly views from our liberal learning institutions. Thank you for your service and the thanks is coming from an old retired RN

  17. Finally! This is what so many of us are thinking and feeling. I’m not a nurse, but am angry that the current administration has failed us all so badly, especially our health care workers. This is so beautifully and intelligently explained. I hope everyone reads this, especially those who are removed from reality. THANK YOU!

  18. Thank you! You have so beautifully (and painfully) articulated everything I am thinking & believe. We will continue to fight for you & all the workers who continue to get screwed by the privileged & capitalist greed. Thank you! You are seen & heard. And loved.

  19. Thank you so much for gracefully summing up my feelings. I am not an angel. I am an immunocompromised, single mother of 2, woman that has the desire to comfort those at the end of their life. Sadly, my reality may be the very thing I work so hard for others to avoid, to die alone.

  20. Thank you for your dedication, service and for summarizing what I have been feeling through this pandemic. You touched on all the emotions.

  21. I cannot add anything.
    You have stated this so very well!
    It brought me to tears.
    Remembering all who have fought so hard for another person.

  22. THIS.

    My mom is a retired RN, and I’m just thankful that she made it to retirement after a long, hard career. I want all of you to make it to retirement too.

    I promise to bitch, bitch, bitch and be political af!

  23. I feel like the nursing staff doctors Emts and right down to housekeeping and dietary employees are working like soldiers! Only they didn’t sign up to be military! I wonder too about suicide rates , increasing mental health issues and economic crash..why? Is this a Takeover? What’s next? Tracking?forced immunization?

  24. My mind goes into a rage and will go berserk when heroes made so by their service die and continue dying even when i may not know their names. Life is not an statistic when it is yours and those you care for, and with covid-19 everybody else’s. We are one humanity against covid-19 and the scatter-brained politics and policies which makes it thrive further. What is to be done !

    Virgilio Ponciano Ocaya
  25. Thank you Emily! This will pass and those of us who will survive will continue to make a difference in making people’s lives easier, making our nation great again , glorifying God through our good deeds. SOLI DEO GLORIA. To God alone be the glory!

  26. WOW! Touching you are amazing and I am angry, angry at the ignorance and lack of compassion by our fellow human beings

  27. I have been retired from the nursing profession for almost ten years and living in my native country since retirement.I felt every emotions you expressed except I cannot do it in words.You did so beautifully ! Thank you ! I have tears in my eyes every time I watched the news.Yes we need change and soon.God bless you and and all the frontlines that are risking their lives to save other lives.

  28. Finally, someone has the courage enough to say all these things. Vurtual hugs, Emily. Pls be safe.

  29. True I feel you…but be safe for now we don’t want to loose you…stay strong just keep fighting like everyone else🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗💐💐💐💐💐will beat this virus and beat those who didn’t keep us safe during this pandemic! God bless you and keep you safe!

  30. So eloquently detailed and appreciated by those of us in or were in the trenches of the healthcare system. Nurses and their support team are risking their lives each day because we know how to care for our patients correctly and appropriately and to be told to take dangerous short cuts is not only insulting but an afront to our professional standards. This testimony needs to be publicized to open the eyes of those who can make an impact for change. My heart broke when I saw 4 nurses leaving a NY hospital because there was no protective equipment and they were being asked to care for up to 45 patients!!!!!! They went on to explain to the interviewer that the administration explained that if they would not work under these conditions, they could “go home “ and they left. It reminds me of the “me too” movement where people are expected to work and continue in silence without objection. We need to support each other now more than ever!

    Pamela Fox, BSN, RN, CEN, CPEN, FAEN
  31. Totally agree! Thank you ! From Italy .

  32. Why should we be surprised? Nurses have always been treated as of little value and disposable, to be placated with pizza and t shirts. This crisis has just magnified the systems indifference to us. We must stand up for and support each other.

  33. My daughter is a nurse taking care of corona virus patients. I am so afraid of her getting the virus.
    This did not have to get this bad. Thump is the reason for this.

  34. Thank-you Emily.. you are a hero at the front line if a raging battle! I stand with you however I am able!💕

  35. Dear Emily,
    My heart goes out to you. I have felt the anger and I will fight with you and for you and for everyone. Nobody should have to risk their lives or be made to sacrifice their life. This is abusive. I too am in a profession of care that is undervalued. You deserve more than a clap, the public needs to not vote for psychopaths and not to praise them and be brainwashed. We all need to take action as you say Emily and fight and be angry, I cannot understand how so many are not and I’m sorry and angry about this too. Please know that you are not alone and I will fight with you.

  36. At 64 with multiple comorbidities it’s likely that I will not survive COVID-19 if I contract it. No way to know for sure, however effective PPE in sufficient quanity would atleast make me feel like I am not disposable. My doctors are pushing me to retire. They think that I am a time bomb and a huge liability for my employer. I bought into the over-inflated sense of responsibility sold to us in nursing school, and can’t walk away in the middle of a crisis. Most nurses are dedicated to patient care even if it involves risks to ourselves. What we
    didn’t sign on for is a suicide mission. My employer has pulled me back from front line to second line as a precaution. I really appreciate my employer as they have created a situation that improves my chances of not contracting Covid-19 while still being an asset to our unit. I want to avoid increasing my coworker’s risks of contracting COVID-19 if I code and they attempt to save me, so I have my DNR all filled out and signed. My wife is pissed off with me about the DNR, saying “I buried one husband three years ago. ” Overall there is this overwhelming feeling of betrayal by the people who’s job it is to make sure society and the medical community is ready for a pandemic. So called experts… A family member and her church are sure that this is the beginning of the end times. I have no argument to refute her thinking. Prayers for everyone.

  37. It is important for everyone to realize that this disaster didn’t need to come to this extreme measure in this country. It’s lack of preparedness leaves us struggling to fight without the simple measures of testing and proper PPE. There simply is no excuse for any administration to put profits over lives. Yet we continue to see it over and over again. Let’s 🛑 it, we’re better than this!

  38. I fully agree with you and all your feeling so true. The gov. has been doing everything they can think of to rid the world of as many elderly, drugadicts,homeless, social finacial scammers, & over population. It’s called genaside. More money for the Rich, Communists that now run the world. God Bless all of us who have paid the price,& Hell to the Rich!!!! WE ARE THE ANGELS AND HERO’S OF THIS WORLD!!!!!

  39. I agree with you 100%. No Dr. or nurse expected to go into battle without the proper protective equipment. It is a travesty that in a country as wealthy as the United States, we are not providing healthcare workers with the protection they deserve. When healthcare workers speak up they are treated like criminals, for speaking their truth. I do not blame anyone for deciding they need to walk out in order to save themselves and their families. Too many talented Dr’s and nurses have already died. You can’t help anyone survive this virus when you are dead.

  40. Sadness for me, That the Medical Staff, are working endless hrs., days & wks. all without good rest, mentally, physically and emotionally yet afraid to go home to be with their own families due to high risk! They deserve much more gratitude and co-operation from the public then they are getting! Can we just all think about what their lives are like right now and pull together as a nation to help slow this virus down!

    Cheryl Bumgardner Lawrence
  41. Thank you for putting so eloquently what I have been feeling these last few weeks. I too am an RN, working everyday, and I have just been seething with Anger. You put into words what I could not. Stay safe.

  42. Nurses from time immemorial have always been political warriors…this is one of those times to keep standing our truthful grounds and know our rights, think safety for self, family and the community we serve at large…

  43. This is so true. I’m not a hero, I’m doing my job. The job I’ve been doing for 26 years. I’m angry too. People just stay home, wash your hands, and remain calm. Let’s stop being stubborn. Just do what has to be done so more people won’t die…..

  44. This will be said with admiration and Thanks to all those that are stepping up and facing obstacles and challenges that have not been seen in this Country for more than 100 years. As a Truck Driver now on the road for nearly a Month now, I too have challenges and Hardships,and most People will say” but Your not in the Medical Field” and they will be right, However Christ suffered more on Calgary and nailed to a cross there were greedy corrupt People in the World then as well injustice is in the Hands of God. Go to Your place of Work with Praise and Thanks to God for the chance to spread His word. The Peace that surpasses understanding will move from You to many, If a Nation would adopt that that God had given Us it would spread Faster than any Virus known or that could ever be known to Mankind.

  45. Great commentary Emily. Way to put it out there.

  46. What a stupid article. There have only been a handful of doctor and nurses dead in the US from this virus. This is overly dramatic.

  47. Interesting. What is an acceptable death rate for health care professionals without adequate PPE??

  48. Exactly what my GF who is a RN has said. Hospital staff has been fired because they got their own PPE for everyone. Hospital staff has been fired because they have raised concerns about missing or non-existing PPE… the list continues. We are a 1st world country and we should have what is needed. Seems to be as supplies get less the CDC adjusts requirements (downwards) suddenly the N95 mask is good for 14 days and not for 8-12h. This is very frustrating for somien inside the system.

  49. Thank you for this! I have been told that healthcare has over dramatized this situation. That it is against liberty and freedom to have the economy closed. That it is not right to sacrifice people’s livelihood to save “a few”. I have been told I am no more important than anyone else which I know and I have never claimed to be. All they are looking at is the bottom line and material things. Healthcare is not an industry where your life is usually threatened when you go to work. People don’t understand this.

  50. Wow! Emily, I am very proud of you, what you, and what you speak out about. I remember you well. Nothing in your training could have trained you or any health care provider for this. Thank you.

  51. This needs to be sent to the Associated Press ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. Arrogance paired with ignorance is very dangerous. Thank YOU Nurses! I am beyond sad with you..

  52. This tell a lot, tell everything! Thank you for exposing the truth

  53. Can’t you see everything was very well planned by this group of people who met in NY, directed by David Gates? They even made a simulacrum of what was going to happen in the pandemic. Less population, more control!!. How? Abortion, same sex marriages(not taking about religion, but truth), elderly people dispossed and killed by the virus, and a vaccine that will be available only with THE CHIP. (Search David Gates who sponsors Planned Parenthood has been using Africans for testing vaccines, and using the aborted babies bodies for his experiments, which are not precisely technological, etc). Cubans doctors said this virus was not biological. Chinda Brandolino explains whats going on!! New World Order!!. We live in a bubble!!! Wake up!!

  54. This is so true, I feel like the military did when they were let off the boats in Normady, pretty much doomed! We are not allowed to even use our own N-95 mask that we purchased ourself but yet we are supposed to use someone else’s used sterilized surgical mask. If we are caught with one on, we will get written up. They care more about saving money for supplies than their nurses. Healthcare workers are being treated like we are disposable, but what they don’t know is that a lot of us will be retiring early or quitting after this is all over, plus it will be hard to try to replace us.

  55. What I just don’t see in the news is what is happening to us. How is it ok to change policies and procedures that has been enforced by many yrs to protect us. To change it as it benefits the company Ex: Flu season if you don’t get the Flu shot you have to wear a mask all the time. Now is ok you don’t need a mask if your not dealing with a confirmed positive COVID patient But at the same time you are screening them to rule out if they are positive but still you don’t need a N 95 mask a regular will do. Secondly they state they have enough PPE but still telling employees we have to reuse a contaminated mask and put it in a bag to reuse it another time. What about the re sterilization process? Knowing that it affect the Lining of the lungs gives you a cough or sore throat let’s compromise you more but it’s OK to use it because that’s all they have. I know there’s so many other issues out there that it has not come out to the light because when you do speak to the leader they shout you down, cut your hrs, or let you go

    When is it going to be enough. Is sad that we all have come to a point that we know we will get this virus the question is not no we are not. Is when ?? are we going to make out of this? Have I brought it home to our families? Who many of us have to pay the price for all this?
    This is for all the essentials workers We need to speak up United under one Voice and make a change.

  56. Incompetence and being dumb and stupid and money had a lot to do with the start of this back in December and January the people in the White House did nothing to stop stop this virus

  57. Care-givers are a special squad of the Lord because their care removes the pains of sufferers n warrant our special needs thanks n gratitudes.

  58. Brava! I am a nurse. A very old one. I am embarrassed by my country and for myself. As an educator in OB nursing, I am far from the front lines. I am fortunate enough to be able to take my students to the hospital for clinical. In my city, my state, my area, I am protected more than most. More, probably than at the grocery store. I am on the ‘no fly’ list when I work. No PUI patients, no Covid. But, I am adamant about the fact that my colleagues in healthcare are being victimized and potentially sacrificed by greed and graft, and by the fear that there won’t be enough for them or their rich friends. I am angry for the fact that you are jeopardized by this. If something happens to you, any of you, I will be and am furious. I am not too old to fight this. I will fight for you. I am fighting now. I will vote these greedy incompetents into the oblivion where they belong. I will work with union to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Stay well sisters and brothers.

  59. Emily, I will remember your name and request that my students read your essay. My hope is you survive this pandemic and do not become ill. Post-COVID, we MUST DEMAND a vastly different work environment. The expectation that will rise over and over again to/for a healthcare system that has consistently put profit over people’s lives is unrealistic. When the worst has passed, we MUST USE OUR COLLECTIVE VOICES TO FORCE THE NEEDED CHANGES!

  60. Emily I’m glad you’re angry.

    I’m sure you’re very VERY ANGRY that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP-Chicoms) with their incompetence, their negligence at a Level 4 BioWeapons facility had prioritized profits over safety and unleashed a deadly virus onto the world that’s killed thousands and costs of trillions of dollars and will bankrupt thousands of our fellow men and women.

    I’m sure you’re very angry the Chicoms reprimanded the Top director of Wuhan Central Hospital for posting information about the virus and told said director to NOT spread information about it. Which cost time and cost lives.

    I’m sure you’re angry the Chicoms ordered labs to stop testing samples and destroy existing samples. That information would’ve saved lives.

    I’m sure you’re angry the Chicoms mapped the new coronavirus genetic info BUT didn’t make it public til early January then LIED and said there were no new cases.

    I’m sure you’re angry the Chicoms the World Health Organization (WHO) LIED also and said there was no clear evidence of human to human transmission of the virus.

    I’m sure you’re angry the Chicoms let someone with coronavirus into the US while they had new cases in Wuhan and allowed over 10,000 of it’s own people gather for a Wuhan Lunar New Year banquet in mid January.

    I’m sure you’re angry late in January, the Chicoms allowed 5 million of its own citizens to travel around China end of January for the Lunar New Year while the virus was still not contained.

    I’m sure you’re VERY angry at expert on virology Dr. Fauci saying in Jan. that the virus would have no impact on our health here in the USA. Then again in mid Feb., and end of Feb. telling citizens of the USA to go about your daily routines and the threat is miniscule.

    I’m sure you’re angry at Mayor of NYC Bill DeBlasio in March saying it’s ok to go to bars, restaurants.

    I’m sure you’re angry and NYC’s Health Commissioner Barbot in Feb. saying it’s ok to go to Chinatown to celebrate and go to restaurants which helped spread the virus around New York.

    I’m sure you’re angry at Nancy Pelosi encouraging public gatherings in late February which facilitated more people contracting the virus.

    Of one note though Emily, you know nothing of what happened in Puerto Rico. I’m Puerto Rican. The USA gave all the money, billions of dollars and supplies to Puerto Rico. The local P.R. government kept many. Sold many and did not release many supplies and goods to the people in a timely fashion. That case has NOTHING to do with the coronavirus supply chain problem.
    That supply chain problem was decades in the making since the 80’s so please shut up about that.

    Also Emily, who wrote this letter you’re presenting?
    I know it didn’t come from you.

  61. Emily my heart aches for you and all who are caught along with the patient who suffers from this evil virus in its web. we are all living a nightmare. i am a mother of a nurse so i understand your frustration and anger. i too feel it and i pray daily for her and all here and in other lands that you survive this moment in history and come out fighting like never before. A fire planted in the soul.

  62. Wow Emily! You hit the nail on the head! Fantastic! Millions are with you every step of the way. My wife is an RN & our concern of further spread is paramount within the health industry.

    Sadly I see some comments in here from some rather disgruntled individuals who are so far off-base that I find them very disturbing, political (of course), just purely negative & not backed up with one iota of facts. However I guess there are always those few…!

    Don’t take that vitriol to heart though…every single thing you wrote is backed up 100% by the bare facts! I assure you that millions agree with you in every way. May you (& all of us across the globe) get through & past this fiasco stronger than ever!

  63. You are so right and so amazing keep strong and keep your head up .

  64. Well written and straight to the point. I nurse the frail and vulnerable and understand your dilemma. You expose your vulnerability from a position of powerlessness as you fight your frustration and anger.A need to prioritize humanity and health above profit and safety is what we must fight for Don’t settle for anything less and demand the best care and safe environment for both you and your patients. I am behind you all the way.

  65. When I first saw the heading, my first question was, “why should I be angry at someone I will never know but is putting her life on the line so that others might live”?
    Then I read the full piece. I thought I had what it took just to be a C.N.A. After 5 YRS I had to go. Nursing staffs across America DEDICATE a lifetime to care for us NO MATTER WHAT!! THANK YOU!!!
    However, to loose even ONE NURSE for ANY REASON other than retirement IS TOO MANY AND UNACCEPTABLE!!! THIS country has delt with chemical agents before and there should have supplies at the ready. Just went from 0 to 100.

  66. Thank you. I feel so bad for our Nurses, and all of the medical field. I
    Knew the Government had a lot to do with this mess. The Elderly that there families put them in nursing homes, this made me sick. My Mother In law died I. A nursing home she was there three months I had her ten years, plus my daughter left her kids with me staying she was going to work in a different place when we found out she was living with a man. But my Grand kids had a good life with us, but what there Mom and Fad did to these kids even
    Know is so sad. So taking care of Jane with Alzheimer’s and two kids was a bunch. I went to twenty two Nursing Homes they show you nice but oh God they steal from these people, done feed them properly, they say there baths is a certain day they leave them dirty. They leave the same cloths on them dirty, there skin is bad because of the sheets and dirty diapers, I could go on and on but she’s In Heaven thank God, then I went through this with
    My Mom she was taken care by her siblings. It was hard, she died in the hospital a year ago, I miss both of them. I wasn’t to crazy about the Hospital staff they said she was dying thus could of cared less if she was clean or taken care of. But this Virus is so much worse then death and I hope the Trump family get what they deserve, and who ever caused this I hope you go straight to hell.

  67. What extremely heart felt letter. I had given over 36 years of my life to nursing. I am now retired. If you asked me if I would do it again I would most definitely say yes. Nurses work from there hearts . It’s not just a job it’s a life style. That’s why the system takes advantage of us. They know that when they ask us to work a double that 9 times out of 10 you’ll say yes. The one problem is now pushing that okay I’ll work maybe the very last time that nurse comes back to work because the on their only day off they had died of Covid 19. The very thing they had been fighting. God Bless all in the Nursing Profession.🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻.

  68. Emily you don’t need to die for me to be angry . In fact I am more than angry , I am pissed off. Sorry but I don’t mince words. It’s not only horrendous that you and others must be on the front line risking your lives , and not have enough proper equipment. .. it’s also ungodly. The powers that be knew this in Dec , and did nothing but lie !! They are despicable , and not even human beings. They do not have a moral or ethical fiber in their body . Yes , I will remember your name as a representative of all you brave heroes. I do not want you to die , so be cautious and stay well. I will share this and ask all to te-share to contact their Senators , and Congressmen as I have , and to vote out all that contributed to this chaos , in November.

  69. Your words are true, and you are doing a great service in writing this. I hope you stay safe and healthy and that there are good treatments forthcoming that will help people endure this disease until that day we have an immunization. I hope a whole lot of people are angry enough to vote for a President who will actually care for the lives of citizens. Thank you. Please be well.

    Thank you.

  70. I’m not a nurse right now, but I’m the mother of a nurse who’s life is on the line day after day at a hospital in Florida. She is the mother of two of our grandchildren and is so very afraid of bringing THE VIRUS home to them. Her husband is a medical professional at another hospital in Florida and also fears bringing it home with him. I’m so angry that the President now in office is putting the daughter I love, and almost gave my life for when she was born, into jeopardy because of the money he wanted to have and the ego strokes he needs. I will not forget, nor will I let others forget when it’s time to vote in November how this president consistently has put money and his ego over the wel-being and lives of Americans, how he had no human compassion for the children he separated from their families, putting the children in cages without even clean water to drink, or soap or toothbrushes to help them be somewhat clean and healthy. It is so very clear by his actions that the man has no caring or compassion for anyone but himself. And now our loved ones are paying his price by being sent in to care for those suffering from Covid19 without the very basic ppe items to keep them safe and well!! Yes, I’m very angry, frustrated, and so very sad that so many folks are dying without the love and support of their families at their bedside as they say their last goodbyes to their lives on earth. Some so very young and hardly beginning to live their lives. And some who are older, who have spent their lives raising their children only to find at the end of their lives the children whom they’ve loved and lived for aren’t able to be with them to say their loving good-byes. I sew masks, I pray, and I cry for all of them–the health professionals putting their lives on the line without the supplies they need, the grocery workers, the mail men and women, the bus drivers, the cabbies, the cooks and carryout folks, the babysitters that make it possible for our medical and other workers to do their jobs, the electric and gas workers that keep everything up and running, the newspaper writers and printing press oporators, the truck drivers, the folks that pickup and haul our trash, the funeral workers who, although overwhelmed by the growing numbers of victims of Covid19, never-the -less try to take care of our loves ones with the dignity they still deserve as human beings. Even as we stay alone together, there are so many who are out there doing what ever they can to keep us in our lives functioning as well as possible. While so many politicians are pushing too soon to “open us up”, let’s not forget all the folks that are already keeping us “opened up”. Let us keep being prayerful, kind, mindful, conpassionate, caring, respectful, helpful and loving. And let us keep our anger sharp for November’s voting. Rev.Dr.Rose Scaffidi, Chaplain

  71. Hy I Jean-Yves from France. Since the begining I say “I’m peacefull but my angryness grow up Every day”. Yes ! it is the proper feeling today.
    Be Angry

    JY Chabanel

  72. Hy ! I’m Jean-Yves from France. Since the begining I say “I’m peacefull but my angryness grow up Every day”. Yes ! it is the proper feeling today.
    Be Angry

    JY Chabanel

  73. Thank you for writing so beautifully what I have been feeling but could not get into words. I realized that we all have been going through a grieving process but was unable to pinpoint it exactly. Thank you for putting a voice to a feeling and stay safe.

  74. A lot nurses have died during SARS and still the government did not do anything to prepare for this. They respond too slow. They pretend that they can manage. They put the resources in wrong places, paying those leaders 6 figures while nurses work like a horse doing overtime with less pay and taking in all the crap they throw on us. They did not do anything to provide and protect nurses early on. After this Covid is over, I think the government should just let every family member take care of their sick. This might relieve the pressure on the backs of the nurses. It will teach the society a lesson, often times the population is so demanding and unappreciative. The society have been so dependent on the government for so long by paying taxes, taxes that goes on the wrong places. Such a waste of resources. The life of a nurses may matter for a short while but people do forget and take things forgranted. So, as a Christian, in everyting you do do it for the Lord, whether it’s appreciated or not whether work changed anything or not. Lord knows how much sacrifices each nurses make. In the end God will punish those who did evil. God bless all the nurses! May God give you strength in this times of trouble.

  75. absolutely!!!!
    Health care providers have been left to fend for themselves and punished when they try to rescue themselves. Meanwhile our politicians play patticake with the pres who is clearly insensitive at best and stupid, greedy and blind in reality. These same politicians that wouldn’t let Obama fart without criticism are now sitting back while too too many are dying needlessly. FEMA hoarding supplies that are needed by nurses, doctors and respiratory therapists, who are our foot soldiers in this war. Yesterday we were told that more people died in the USin this Covid 19 war, in the last 24 hours ( 4/16 -4/17) than all those who died in the Iraqi war. This is appalling we have left our soldiers on the frontline in a war without a way to win. But I’m writing letters and calling my politicians and I’m telling them they will be held responsible for their lack of action. We will vote them out and replace them. In the meantime I pray and hope and believe that God will hear the prayers of our hearts and despite the odds….you guys will win. You will live to tell this story and you will be compensated by our government for your sacrifice like all soldiers in wars. Maybe you dont feel like it…..and maybe you dont want to be called heroes….but that is exactly what you are. You are our HEROES!!! ❤❤🙏🏾🙏🏾

  76. I am angry at all the self indulgent people that don’t take their health seriously that have put healthcare workers lives in danger. In 1970 only 15% of our population was Obese today 40% of the population is Obese, 126 million people. Obesity is the number one cause of heart disease, heart disease is the number one cause of death in US, 1740 per day. When are people going to wake up to the fact we have an Obesity pandemic in this country??? 90% of all COVID 19 patients who die have underlying conditions of Obesity, Diabetes, Hypertension, and Cardio Vascular disease!!!! 10% of all Covid 19 patients who die don’t have underlying conditions die. Lower the obesity lower the virus death rate. 53 million people are addicted to cigarettes, 32 million people are addicted to drugs and alcohol. These four things cost our healthcare system 900 billion dollars a year. And people wonder why our healthcare costs are so high??? Our insurance premiums are so high??? We have to many people that don’t care about themselves or how their bad decisions affect everyone else. Personal responsibility is a terrible thing to waste!!!!

  77. The same is true when fecal transplants save lives, and are rejected by hospitals for the same reasons that we rely on drugs and implants for better treatment of disease, but not better health.

    This is a medical wake up call, not a fight for inefficient methods that do not force more progress..

    We must demand more from our systems.

    That is my interpretation.

  78. I am a Registered Nurse also, spent 49.5 yrs in Critical Care Nursing. I AM TOTALLY ANGRY !

  79. Excellent! Well said. Love to you, nurse Barbara

  80. An old co-worker and I were just talking a few weeks ago about the irony of being chastised for adhesive marks on IV poles etc. during our recent JCAHO inspection but here we are ignoring the fact that droplet and airborne are NOT the same. They also took a 40+ year employee out of her job because she wasn’t licensed ( a requirement that did not even exist 10 years ago never mind 40 years ago) even though she possessed an advanced registry credential in her field (pulmonary medicine) and personally trained every “licensed” staff member who worked there over the years. Would this experienced individual not be useful when staff are all overworked? They are talking about bringing in respiratory students to manage ventilator patients? Really? They do not care right now and after all is said and done changes will be enforced, for a while anyway. I am angry too, you can bet on that!

  81. We are better than this!!!! 😥

    Since so far the face of death from the virus is OVERWHELMINGLY Brown/Black, I’m going to think that that’s who you’ve helped with “compassion and care.” This makes m-y gratitude even greater… the least among us.

    Thank you.
    A trullllly grateful nation,
    Flossie

    “Find the good and PRAISE it!” Alex Haley

  82. After 42 years as a nurse working exclusively in hospitals, I have come to the conclusion that the business of healthcare has nothing to do with health or caring.

  83. Thank you for stating your points so clearly and honestly. I am not a nurse or front line medication professional but a retired mental health professional and there is no excuse for the lack of concern or compassion for people who put their lives on the line every day physically and emotionally. I am very grateful for your service but being grateful and not speaking out and trying to get our leaders and citizens to do something will not bring about positive change. What would we all do without you and your fellow nurses do? We are America and this should never have happened if proactive steps had been taken. I worked as a mental health volunteer with the Red Cross for 14 years and we must be prepared for all crisis and pandemics if we want to save our country and in this case the world. You are right appreciation expressed via social media, etc is an empty jester if not supported by action.

  84. “Only God can fix this now so pray fervently my friends.”

    WE are the only ones who can fix this, not some imaginary sky daddy. So I say let’s get up off our knees. The time for thoughts and prayers is over. It’s time for action

  85. I retired after working full-time as a nurse for 45 years. I can tell you that I loved taking care of others but most of us know what’s really going on !! Thank you Emily for having the guts to tell the truth!

    NANETTE Seick Adair "Sam"
  86. V well written & true. Pls PRAY FERVENTLY.

  87. YOU ROCK! I TOO AM MAD – past Mad – actually. Retired after over 30 years of Nursing. My heart breaks for you & all my heroes on the front lines. I will scream your name & politicize the Hell out of it, but pray we don’t have to do that. Please stay safe as you can. Sending hugs & LOTS of PRAYERS. AND letters, notes & screams at those in control!.

  88. I am not working this pandemic because I am now 73 years old and in isolation, at home because I have a low-grade infection. I cried when I read this article as it could have been me in this position. I cried because I was a Nurse before our government set up Medicare and I and many people in the field all believed we were going to get a National Healthcare system that would cover everything for everyone. I was one of the nurses who testified at a conference that we needed a real health care system for everyone, not give it away to Insurance companies. I cried because I worked infection control in the late ’70s and early ’80s and saw all of the cuts and “cost-effective” measures happening. I went to a conference put on by the CDC all most 40 years ago. We were told a massive pandemic was inevitable and we needed to prepare immediately because it was only a matter of time. They talked about PPE’s and how to fit all our staff including housekeeping and dietary. We were told no one should ever be given an antiviral or an antibiotic without doing a C&S or we would start to see our protective flora and fauna mutate. We were also told This would lead to people dying of mutant staph and strep. We were also told to wash our hands with soap and water and use alcohol on hard surfaces, hand sanitizers would mutate viruses and bacteria and were to be avoided at all costs. I like so many other nurses and doctors left that conference determined to fix things right then so these things would not happen. I went to see my Hospitals Administrator when I returned, all excited to start measuring our staff for their PPE’s I was told no that will not happen. Apparently, while the CDC had been talking to us the Hospital Corporations had a meeting and decided they had their own agenda that was entirely different. Besides not having more then a token amount of PPE’s and none of it fitted to the staff until needed, it was only for the doctors and nurses not the Techs or CNA’s much less housekeeping or dietary. Suddenly hand sanitizers were everywhere because we no longer had “enough staff” to take the time to wash our hands between rooms when passing meds. Over the years I watched as the whole Health Care system became about profits. People were given antibiotics without any tests to see if they even needed one much less possibly need an antiviral. Then we started losing beds and whole wards shut down. People ended up in hallways rather than being admitted to a hospital bed. I spend years trying to “fix” the health care system. One day we were told we no longer had patients but consumers and I had to admit to myself things were the way they were because of the Corporations and I was not going to be able to change things. Every day now I see Nurses and Doctors on television talking about this pandemic and the lack of testing kits, PPE’s, ventilators, or even staff. I wish I could join you, just because you need hundreds more however, I no longer have a license and I am ill myself. Emily right now the only thing I have to give you is prayer because I gave everything I had to try and stop this before it happened. As unfair as this is, people are alive today because of you. You are making a difference although this whole thing is obscene, you can be proud of the fact you are doing what you trained to do. You are making a difference as improbable and wrong as this whole thing is. I know I will continue to cry whenever I hear more statistics about the medical personal who gave everything they had and it wasn’t enough.

  89. I’ve been a RRT for over 45 years. This Covid pandemic has been an eye-opener – contact & exposure to death, desperate staff – no PPE available to the front-line nursing. RRTs & docs. Once this disease became rampant, I’ve witnessed the primary caregivers suffer & be infected due to insufficient protection against a relentess viral disease… I just cannot forgive our President for his blatant disregard for trying to successfully eliminate the deaths caused by Covid. His ignorance is unforgivable… This lack of demonstrative action has caused deaths of both hospitalized patients & staff….lack of testing & supplies has led to countless medical staff & patient deaths…😒😪😪😪😪😪😪

  90. Beautiful. Powerful. Sadly, very true.

  91. I am not a nurse, but I’ve had enough surgeries to know who it is that takes care of you when you’re in the hospital. I have friends who tell me not to be angry, that it’s not good for my mental health, to take a deep breath, smell the flowers, be grateful…can’t do it. The only part I can manage is the gratitude for those in your profession. Of course you’re angry. I am too. If you’re not, you’re not paying attention. I and many others are working for Medicare for all. It’s not perfect, but it’s a beginning. Thank you for what you do.

  92. America makes me sick the politicians that is. Move to Canada. It’s so much better up here then the corrupt USA.

  93. I’m so sad that it has to be a pandemic to open peoples eyes. As a nurse we were so over worked , underpaid and appreciated. For 35 years I worked hard and had accidents with lifting patients and surgeries as a result and became disabled. No one should have to work without the very best equipment with bacteria and viruses. Know that I will pray for U daily and all medical people. Being in the medical profession is like going into war with the same PTSD that follows. Bless U and know I’m with U in mind and spirit.

  94. You people are uninformed. You speak of this event as though it was something like a rainstorm and we did not have our rain gear ready in time. This was no naturally occurring event. It was either an intentional release of a bio-weapon or the accidental release of a bio-weapon that was allowed to inflict maximum damage by the actions of the Chinese Communist Party leadership (CCP). This country reached out to China in 1972 to mitigate Soviet expansionism. The Soviet Union collapsed but the CCP were shrewd enough to entice us with their version of capitalism to entice us to sell out our own country. This ushered the slow destruction of America’s industrial base. Simultaneously they are spying and stealing everything we have by their alleged ‘students’ in our finest institutions with concomitant cyber attacks. We elected Trump to put a stop to this and many other egregious behaviors that our so-called representatives have been allowing, if not profiting directly from, to become a malignant tumor. The globalists are the ones who have created this mess. Their enemy is nationalism and the people of America who cling to their odd desire for liberty and freedom. Globalists only care about bank accounts and labor pools. They do not give a damn about people and therefore do not want borders or cultures. Their ideology focuses on wealth for power, theirs is the worst of capitalism. This proved out in the 2008 economic meltdown that resulted in ZERO arrests by the perpetrators because we have the best government money can buy. They see the communists as an inconvenient ideology that will help them mitigate America to be reckoned with later. The majority of our news comes from globalists – the multi-national corporations. This leads us up to the CCP virus (I refuse to play the CCP’s public relation spin department who pushed for a nice innocuous name that forever obfuscates those responsible for this world wide disaster). Trump warned about the flights from China and the globalists did their usual attacking claiming it was racism. Meanwhile the CCP had lied and delayed release of critical information, obfuscated and allowed international flights throughout the world to insure maximum damage. But we buy into their propaganda that Trump is the bad guy. WAKE UP people if you can break from your brainwashing. We have been attacked by an enemy. Our enemy launched their missile from China while activating their operatives here at home to spin spin spin and too many of us are buying their tripe. This is war. The sooner we recognize the enemy for who they are both foreign and domestic the sooner we have a chance to win this war. Yes, it is a tragedy that people are dying from their virus. It is going to be more tragic when the means of production that binds the threads of our societal fabric start to unravel. Our economic engines must keep running if we are to maintain life as we know it. This is not putting greed for money over lives, this is insuring we have a means of sustaining and helping lives continue. Hiding in our homes only delays the inevitable. We did the big sit out, now we must smartly and systematically re-start the engines. The longer we wait the worse the systemic long term damage to the economy. Meanwhile China’s CCP must be dealt with as they cannot be allowed to continue with their agenda for world domination by 2049, their centennial. We must create laws that do not allow our news to be owned by any company with foreign interests. We must wake up to how precious our unique existence as Americans is on earth. We have never been a perfect country but we certainly are a country that strives for perfection. No other country has such a desire. Do not be duped and open your eyes to the big picture by becoming educated on what is going on!
    God bless America and may she continue to be that shiny City on the Hill because the people of America are educated, informed and love this country.

  95. What a beautiful, caring, compassionate, courageous young woman who speaks the brutal truth. This world of material morbidity and madness has inflicted death as never before. May God bless and protect her from her anger and sadness.

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