Survivor Feature: A Thank You to Essential Workers


"I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people." Maya Angelou

By now the entire world has felt the impact of COVID 19. During these times of adversity many of us have had to make sacrifices. For some, like essential workers, they've had to sacrifice their time, their own health and more to stand on the front lines during this pandemic. They'd prefer to not be considered heroes. They'd prefer, like the rest of us, for this nightmare to end and peace to be restored. They'd prefer for more people to be selfless so we can flatten the curve.

Essential workers have become the heroes we honestly don't deserve.

As nurses week comes to a close, I thought it was fitting to highlight a nurse for the next Survivor feature. We need their voices during this time. From the bottom of my heart, I say thank you all for your service and sacrifice.

Tell us who you are:

My name is Tera Freeman and I am a registered nurse and I work in acute care.

Share your experience as a nurse since the outbreak of COVID19.

At first I felt anxious. It feels like the guidelines regarding what personal protective equipment (also referred to as PPE) to wear changes daily. It has been about 8 weeks and it feels more routine now. I keep my work shoes in the trunk and change in the parking lot, I bring spare clothes so I can change before driving home.

The hardest part for me is seeing people not get better. As a healthcare professional you want to see that you've done something and it work to help your patient. While I've had plenty of patients be discharged home, I've also had some require critical care in the ICU.

What advice would you give us especially as many have rushed to resume normal life?

I would advise people to continue social distancing. It is imperative that we decrease the amount of vectors available to the virus. It needs a host to replicate and not every host has symptoms. People can carry the virus and be asymptomatic.

What has been your method of self care during this time?

My job offers therapy for those who feel they need it. I've been trying to focus on doing projects around the house. I find it hard to truly relax though. I deal with Covid 19 at work, but I also have to take precautions at home to protect my family; so it is something that has become constantly present. It's mentally taxing even outside of work.

What word of encouragement would you share with other essential workers?

We're all in this together. Make sure you are following your job's guidelines to protect yourself and your loved ones. Thank you for what you do!

With the number of cases steadily rising, over 1 million in the USA to date, I truly hope that each of you reading this will take it seriously and do what's best to protect yourself and others. I also encourage you to please extend your support to the essential workers in your life. For the latest news on COVID 19 please visit

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/index.html

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