This is part of Thank You Notes, a series of letters offering gratitude to the people and things that inspire us most. Like many others, Allure has spent the pandemic looking inward. What we found was deep gratitude for the medical professionals that cared for our communities and our country during a profoundly difficult time. Then we wrote.
I remember the day in March 2020 our governor enacted a stay-at-home order. Amid all the anxiety about this mysterious, deadly virus, it was hard to stay positive and hopeful. A week passed, then a month, and the cases around the country continued to rise. It seemed like there was no end in sight.
At first, I wasn’t so worried about my health or my kids’ health — we were staying at home as much as we could to protect ourselves and others from the virus. As COVID-19 continued to surge, though, I got scared. What if my kids got sick or hurt, and the hospitals were overrun? What if there weren’t enough medical professionals to care for everyone or they ran out of PPE?
Like many, I passed the time in quarantine — and, honestly, numbed my anxiety — on social media. Mindlessly scrolling through TikTok, I felt my first glimmer of hope since quarantine started. Nurses like you were traveling around the country to lend a hand — packing up and uprooting their lives to save others, even if it meant possibly never seeing their own families again. Throughout the first few months of the pandemic, personal stories about COVID-19 flooded social media, and healthcare providers were sharing their day-to-day journeys of working in COVID-19 units.
Around that same time, you signed up with a travel nurse agency and left home to support New York City hospitals in the crisis. You probably had fears just like me. What if your little boy or your husband, a doctor, got sick and the hospitals were full? So many of us felt helpless, but you channeled your fear into action. New York was in desperate need of healthcare providers to ease the burden on overwhelmed hospitals, and you knew you had to help — even if it meant leaving your entire support system behind.
Stuck at home for months with my husband and two sons, I felt isolated and detached, but my experience was nothing compared to yours. You were stuck in a seemingly never-ending cycle of caring for sick and dying patients, sleeping in a hotel room until your next shift, and then you waking up and doing it all over again. People called it “wartime nursing” — resources were slim and demand was high, but you did all you could to save people.
I remember when the first COVID-19 death was reported in my area. I heard on the news that grieving families couldn’t see their loved ones in person, and that healthcare workers like you were doing everything they could to bring comfort to both the sick and the families. When you lost your first patient, you called their family and held the phone over the body so they could say goodbye. Sadly, this became the norm for you and so many other nurses.
I’ll admit, I began to lose faith when the pandemic hit. I felt hopeless without a tangible way to make a difference during this difficult time. But the journey only motivated you. You worked in New York City during Ramadan, the holiest month in your religion, and you were spending it alone. But as much as the distance from your loved ones during this month grieved you, it also motivated you. Your faith in God kept you going, and you knew there was a reason you were there.
In New York state, the pandemic continues, and there was even talk of using medically trained National Guard members to fill staffing shortages caused by medical personnel who refused vaccination. You’re not alone in your hotel anymore, or in a faraway hospital sharing a home-cooked meal with a physician and fellow Muslim. But you continue to serve in your own community. You completed your degree to become a nurse practitioner, and you’re back at your local hospital, caring for patients suffering from COVID-19. The losses keep coming, and they’re painful — but every day, you’re grateful for your health and for the science behind the vaccines.
Reema, we thank you. For your sacrifice, for uprooting your life and leaving your support system, and for allowing compassion to guide you as you care for those in need. It’s been almost two years since you worked in New York, and we appreciate that you continue to use your skills to help people affected by COVID-19. Because of frontline healthcare workers like you — courageous nurses who are willing to sacrifice their own well-being for the common good — our country will begin to heal. We couldn’t do it without you.
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/wellness/thank-you-reema-khalid-for-uprooting-your-life-to-serve-during-the-pandemic/ar-AAQ3Ni4862