Sharing Some Thoughts
“It is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
Aloha, my friends & colleagues,This message comes to you with wishes for good health and happiness.
Research informs us that feelings of gratitude are strongly correlated with feelings of happiness. If you know me, then you know that I am a very grateful person. Why wouldn’t I be? I have so much to be grateful for! My family, my profession, friends & colleagues, my little dog, my age, and the fact that I live in the best place in the world: These beautiful Hawaiian Islands.
Hawaii is blessed by kind people, loving family and friends, and great natural beauty and resources. As a newcomer, I am especially aware of these blessings which others may take for granted. When I first moved here, many years ago, I saw a vivid rainbow in the sky – only the third one I had ever seen in my life! I rushed to school & excitedly asked my students if they had seen the morning’s beautiful rainbow. They replied, “we always see a beautiful rainbow.”
Yet, I have never been so grateful as I am now, knowing that the attack on Hawaii by CoVid-19 has been less vicious than elsewhere. Thankfully, we have suffered fewer than 800 cases and 18 deaths in all the Hawaiian Islands. My home, Boston, Massachusetts has had well over 100,000 cases, with 8,000 deaths. In New York City, where I lived for 2 years as a graduate student, there have been more than twice that number of cases and mortality exceeds 10%. Measures implemented to slow contagion have been effective in “flattening” the exponential growth curve of CoVid-19, yet many do not take precautions. In addition to the human pain and suffering, the lost lives and destruction of families, this pandemic has prevented loved ones from saying their final good-byes. With no place for the victims, bodies are housed in refrigerator trucks and ice skating rinks. Many are buried in mass graves where family may not visit.
In Hawaii,so far, we have been more fortunate. I say “so far” because I see many people gathering, partying, in close proximity with others, masks around their necks or in their pockets. As I write this, late Friday June 19, 2020, Hawaii has experienced a worrisome spike in COVID-19: 27 new cases reported today. This is the largest single-day spike since April 4. twenty-five of these new cases are on Oahu, one is on Maui and one is on Kauai. These cases are in addition to the cluster of 12 deriving from a single church service and 30 from a child’s party at a McDonalds. The Health Department has said recent double-digit increases in cases are to be “expected” as businesses reopen and more activities are allowed. And, today, despite the spike, bars, movie theatres, and other venues are reopening on Oahu.
Increasingly, research indicates that masks prevent spread, when worn consistently by all persons. Recently, two salon stylists in Missouri with active CoVid-19 came into contact with over 200 clients and co-workers. Three weeks later, not a single case has resulted – everyone involved wore a mask properly covering nose & mouth.
Most people alive today have not experienced a pandemic like CoVid 19 and many do not take it seriously. Young adults are seemingly cavalier with their own respiratory precautions and those of their children, perhaps thinking CoVid is a disease of the elderly. Yet, teenagers have died from CoVid-19 and little children stricken with and died from Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with exposure to CoVid-19.
As nurses, we know how often people are misinformed and how misinformation results in poor health outcomes. It is our responsibility to educate our patients, families, friends, coworkers and communities about the nature of the pandemic to help them stay safe. We need to take precautions against CoVid 19 until there are zero cases. We will have a safe and effective vaccine.
Mahalo Nui Loa for All You Do!
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