Over the past few weeks, my husband and I drove from South Florida to the Thousand Islands Region on the St. Lawrence River and Eastern Lake Ontario. This was our first vacation since COVID-19. We made stops along the way to visit family and friends. We got re-acquainted with our great-nieces and nephews and reconnected with family and friends.

When I returned, I had a stack of mail and emails to go through. I had some good news as my Blog, Nurse Advocate, was included as a winner of the 2021 Apex Awards!! I was chosen in the category of COVID-19 Media – Social Media for the articles I wrote early in the pandemic to educate people to be safe, to take the virus seriously, and do a few simple things that could save your life.  If you missed them, here is a summary and links to read each one! They are still relative today – especially as we start to see a resurgence across the world, especially in those not vaccinated. If you are not vaccinated – please make time to do that as soon as possible.

Knowledge is Power: This post was in the early days of the pandemic, March 2, 2020, when we started to learn about the virus. As a nurse, I know that in a respiratory pandemic, germs are spread by droplets. To contain the spread, there are basic rules to follow.  In this post, I share ten essential tips that would help keep people safe. As the title says: Knowledge is Power.

Strengthening Your Immune System To Improve Health and Wellness: his post came about during the pandemic. Many people were trying to understand how they could improve their immune system to help them prevent contracting the virus. A colleague of mine, Sandra Kahn, specializes in Oriental Medicine and has a good handle on strengthening the immune system, so I asked her to be a guest author. We can all learn something from this post – check it out!

Staying Positive During the Pandemic: As the pandemic became a reality, we started to get information and misinformation from various sectors. We learned that ‘words matter’ as evident in this post, and I was glad a colleague commented with some clarifying words!

How are you doing? I want to know. The post touched on aspects of the pandemic that many did not think of.  In this post, I wanted to recognize the stress the pandemic brought with it and encourage people to check on their neighbors and loved ones. We are social people and need to be with others. Being isolated was not easy, and if nothing else came from this pandemic – we learned the importance of a simple call, a notecard, or checking in on your neighbor to see if they needed something from the store that could help someone cope.

We Are All In This Together: COVID 19 showed us how small our world was and how technology can keep us together and safe. Over the past few months, many have attended virtual meetings, doctor appointments, birthday parties, weddings, and funerals. Now that we have learned how technology can bring us together, we will see the emergence of more and more of it. Embrace it, understand it, and show others because ‘we are all in this together.

The Doctor will see you know: Telemedicine in a COVID -19 World: As a cancer survivor, I wondered how long my Doctor would see me once I finished my chemo. His answer surprised me: we are going to have a long relationship. Those words have proven true, but with COVID- 19, going down to Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center to my appointments made me nervous One day, I got a call from the Doctor’s office. I was informed that my appointment could be made virtually. This sounded great, but I did not know what to expect. When the appointment day arrived, I was relieved when I saw my Doctor on the screen. We talked, and he reviewed my MRI. The visit only lasted a few minutes – but what was nice is that I was able to stay safe and did not have to spend two hours driving back and forth to the Cancer Center and fighting traffic. It was a great experience, and I look forward to my next visit.

What’s the first thing you will do when things go back to normal? This post came about from an idea a friend had to keep her friends and family engaged during the pandemic. She would send out trivia questions to the group. People would answer them, and she would send us back the answers and announce the winners. One of her games became the inspiration for this post.

Have Patience, Remain Vigilant; it’s working: The pandemic is brutal for many of us, especially when the days turned into months, and all we heard is bad news. This post showed the importance of having patience and remaining vigilant. The simple things like wearing a mask, washing your hands, and staying out of crowds are not easy, but it is what keeps people safe!

The Question We are all Grappling with: Are We Ready to Reopen? This post came about as mixed messages were being sent about reopening the country amid the pandemic. I wanted to let people know they had to weigh what to do with the risks.

Reopening Does Not Mean the Pandemic is Over: Another post of caution with common-sense tips as the country started to reopen.

The Most Devastating Consequence of the Pandemic: This was a moving post on the pandemic’s most devastating consequence. I wrote this post on May 19, 2020. The death toll in the United States from COVID on that date was 90,000 people. At this writing of this post on December 28, 2020, it is reported that we have had 334,695 deaths. It is NOT OVER.

Taking time off allows time to reflect on our lives and what is important. During this vacation, my husband and I drove thousands of miles. We had time to talk about our lives and share our goals and discuss what we want to do as we age. It is good to know that we are on same page – and we agree that we are grateful that our family and friends are healthy, safe, and thriving.

While Corky was fishing, I had some time to reflect on topics I want to cover in future blog posts and some projects I want to tackle over the next few months. So, stay tuned!

I hope you are taking some time off over the summer to rest and recharge your batteries. If you do – be safe and enjoy the view!

As always, thanks for reading Nurse Advocate!






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