Thank you nurses, for rushing in when we need you most

Months ago, it was in the distance.  International hints of a contagion, a virus in China.  We heard it all too many times, desensitized by the occasional threats, conspiracy theories, and Hollywood depictions.

“It’s fiction.  It could never happen to us.”

Fast forward to today, and it is staring us in the face with nostrils flaring.  We are on the frontlines, fighting an enemy that has invaded every aspect of our life.  We watch the evolution of treatment strategies, uncertainties of transmission, and susceptibilities.  It’s frightening. It’s real. It’s here.

As an emergency physician, I’m a frontline spectator of something that you can’t truly ever prepare yourself for.  We are still defining the enemy that is grasping our friends, families, and colleagues as we hold the line for society.  Through this all, one thing has held constant.  One glaring anchor has been a constant light during this darkest storm.  Nurses always rush in.  We are fighting an enemy of uncertainty, of fear, of breathlessness.  Anxieties are at their peak as the battle rages on.  The stakes are high, the highest our generation has ever experienced, yet the nurses always rush in.  It’s their calling to save the lost, be with the dying, and advocate for the voiceless.

As a physician, you motivate me; you inspire me.  We are in a battle, the smoke has yet to clear, and further enemy advancements are yet to come, yet you always rush in.  You rush in for society, for us all, waving the flag with a rallying cry.  I know you, you’re my wife, my sister, my brother in law, and best friends.  I’ve always known you, but now I truly see you for who you are.  You’re our society’s servant leader, the advocate with selfless courage.  When the dust settles, and we are victorious, I’ll never look at you the same again.

As an emergency physician, a father, and a husband, thanks for inspiring me.  Thanks for doing what you’ve always done.  Thanks for rushing in when we need you most.

Jeffrey McWilliams is an emergency physician who blogs at Advocates Of Excellence.

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