COVID 19 has rocked our worlds. But with hope, faith, and following the recommendations of Public Health officials, we will get through this. If you are reading this and feel you have had the virus, I hope you are recovering. As we are being told, most people will have mild symptoms and improve in 14 days. Those with medical conditions are more at risk, so please heed the recommendations, so you are safe.  If you are at risk and you feel sick, please call your doctor or go to your local ED.

There might be one bright light that will come out of this time. Technology is helping us stay up to date, see our family and friends, and do our work or find work if you have lost a job as a result of the virus. Here are some things that I have experienced that have helped my husband and me.

Face Time: Today, with our phones, we have a powerful tool that lets us not only connect but allows us to see each other. I love it when I get a Facetime call from my nieces, and I can visit with their children and see what they are doing. Even my 8 month old great niece participates!

Zoom: Zoom is another method that allows you to connect. I have been using Zoom for meetings with colleagues and family and friends. Recently I set up a zoom meeting with longtime friends for a virtual cocktail hour. There were 5 of us who could make it, and we had a great time catching up! It was almost as good as being together.

Telemedicine: Recently, my brother in law had a series of episodes where his hands went numb. He saw his family doctor and was sent to a vascular surgeon. To keep the family informed, my sister in law, asked the doctor if she could record the visit. The doctor agreed, and the family got a firsthand account of what the doctor’s thoughts were and what she planned to do. It helped us know the plan and also support my brother in law and his wife.  After the surgery, there was a complication. In regular times, my sister in law would have had to take her husband to the ED. With the use of her cell phone, she simply called the surgeon, and my sister in law was able to connect with the surgeon and view the problem. The doctor could give them advice without putting them at additional risk of coming to an office or the ED.

Technology has allowed us to worship and pray while we maintain social distancing. As a Catholic, going to church is important to me. I have to say I have enjoyed Mass and daily visits from the Pastor of my Church Father Davis. I look forward to his daily video, where he enlightens me with a reading and then a blessing. As you know, Passover, Holy Week and Easter were celebrated last week. Through technology, I was able to participate in the services through my church. Click here to view St. Gregory the Great Easter Vigil Service. Many who celebrate Passover held virtual Seders which allowed families to come together.

I also have taken the time over these past few weeks to touch base with family and friends to get check-in and see how they are doing. I was so touched when I got a card from my cousin who lives in Virginia. It was just a note to say she was thinking of me and hoped we were doing ok. We have not seen each other or talked for a few years, but that card meant so much and showed despite the time we are still connected.

Technology also has allowed us to share information during this time. The information on the virus is changing daily, so staying up to date is essential. Some days, I feel that the news is coming so fast that it is overwhelming. When I feel like this, I take a break and listen to music or take a walk. These little breaks take the toll off and allow us to enjoy the weather and get some exercise.

Recently, a team that I am working with at Athena Forum Institute recorded a webinar series, Care Management in a COVID 19 World. The series was designed for healthcare professionals, but I think the public can also gain information from it, so I would like to share the link so you can listen. Just to https://athenaforum.net and click on the banner in the middle of the page. Complete the sign-in information, and then you will be able to click to listen to the videos. If you do take the time to listen, let me know what you think. These are not clinical webinars but share more comforting information that will help you weather this time.

If you or someone you know has experienced COVID 19, please let us know how you are doing now by putting a comment in the chatbox. Also, let us know what you are doing to stay safe, again, add a comment to the chatbox. Sharing at this time is so important. WE are all in this together.

Thank you for reading Nurses Advocate. Stay safe, and see you next week!

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