Updated: May 10, 2020
20 years of emergency nursing under my belt, I have seen a lot of outbreaks such as anthrax, H1N1, SARS, and who can forget wearing full PPE(faceshield, gown, and gloves) to care for a known HIV positive person.Yet, I’ve not seen anything affect us like the novel coronavirus AKA Covid 19. Quite frankly, I’ve never been so uneasy and afraid. Fortunately, I'm not alone.
On April 24 2020, the state of Georgia will be reopening hair and nail salons, barbershops, gyms, bowling alleys, and allowing hospitals to perform elective surgeries. We still have more questions than answers. For many, there will be mental and financial relief along with the overall feeling of FREEDOM being away from their homes and families, returning to life as they knew it. As for the rest of the Georgians, they will be consumed with fear, anxiety, and worry while clinging to the safety and comfort of their homes. Each side asking the other “ARE YOU READY?” ready to continue on with business as usual or ready to continue shelter-at-home? It seems many are being forced to choose between their health and jobs, economical burdens and concerns of health.
At the time of this article, Georgia reports nearly 20,000 positive cases and 800 deaths from Covid 19. Naturally, people are afraid of spreading and contracting coronavirus. That won’t stop thousands of people from going out. I do hope it will make them second guess their motives before leaving the house.
Businesses are allowed to open if they follow the outlined parameters of minimum basic operation. This entails 1) screening workers for fevers 2) enhanced workplace sanitation 3) staggering shifts 4) enforcing social distancing, to name a few. Business owners are concerned that the minimum basic operation will not be enough to protect them, their workers, or their customers. Others are willing to find out. Either way Georgians are dealing with a double edged sword. Georgia, ARE YOU READY?
Cherese Pate, RN, BSN