Updated: Mar 22, 2020
Yet, I've become aware that the nurses I know have next to no access to masks. The nearest nurse to me had to take care of a patient who coughed a lot when she arrived at our large city hospital. My nurse friend had not been scheduled to have masks (I guess there is a hierarchy of need here.) Yet my friend was asked to step in and intubate this coughing person.
Realizing this was her lot every day, I went to my storage for 'after the earthquake' and got out the two N95 masks I had bought but never opened.
"These are worth gold," she said.
Thus I'm writing to you. If you have been following city, county, state urgings to get ready. Here we are. If you have bought masks and want to help keep our hospital staff friends well, haul out those masks. If you have a nurse friend, offer yours. If you don't know a nurse, offer masks to your hospital.
I know we're now jaded on alarm: Alarm from the electoral parties; Alarm from the environment; Alarm from the health department; Alarm from -- you name it. But here is a way to help which can make a big difference. That nurse friend might someday be caring for someone you love.
Beyond alarm, it seems good that we're having a time to slow down and enjoy the earth. We can help our neighbor's business by buying from them online if possible, or in person if a necessity.
We can enjoy and take care of family by staying away but checking.
I can enjoy the spring, the walks with the only other person with whom I normally trade spit.
Longlasting Wood or Lenten Rose is an amazing flower, and everywhere this year.
I enjoy the sight of moms and dads out riding together with their kids. I enjoy crossing the street when other walkers are oncoming but waving hello as a connection in this scary moment in history.
And I remember that my mother's brother, Scott, was born during the 1918 flu epidemic. Mother told me that Scott was never very well, but that also, his birth during that time often was blamed as the cause of
my grandmother's 'misery'. There are some people who should not be listened to, but a kid doesn't know that.
What a burden to carry.
So let's make sure our grown kids understand we stay away because we care, and we write and call because we love them. And we can tell the youngest who still live with us that they are not responsible for the things they brought home from the big world of school.
All good health to every one of you, my friends.
Since I wrote and also sent emails to local friends, my friend, Karen LaBonte, sent me this information for our county in Oregon. Your county may have similar opportunities to collect needed equipment.
Look and see:
"Multnomah County Health and Portland Fire & Rescue ask Community for Personal Protective Equipment Donations"
This is probably the most efficient way to get PPE distributed to where it is most needed. Karen