Lisa Sauder works in the emergency department of Melfort Hospital.
What do you need to see to believe that the health care workers around you are struggling to manage COVID-19? Do you need to see my bruised nose and deep indents in my skin after nine-plus hours in the same isolation room with an N95 mask in full PPE?
Do you need to see us run, stress, not eat, not use the bathroom for 12 or more hours? Need to see the tears we shed for our sick and dying patients?
Do you need to see us make phone calls and Facetime from isolation so people can say goodbye/goodluck while we hold their hand?
Need to see us again tell our kids, “Sorry, Mommy has to work again tonight,” or “Don’t touch Mommy until I’ve changed and showered”? Or how about the faces of our spouses as they watch us struggle and do their best to support us right now?
What will it take for people to get that these things
By all means, disagree with some of the rules in place, question things, be concerned about the struggle of others with different health conditions, have concerns about everyone’s mental health, disagree with the government’s handling of this, wish it wasn’t happening… but do not discount our experience, our reality.
Like it or not, this is a real crisis sweeping through Saskatchewan that is putting immense strain on those of us who provide you care for all your physical and mental health needs (yes, even here in rural Saskatchewan).
We do not need sympathy or praise, we are proud of the work we do, but we are only human.
Do your part.
Wash your hands.
Stay physically distant from others.
Wear a mask when you’re out in a public place, or can’t stay six feet away from other people.
We can’t do this alone.