School Nursing

The Relentless School Nurse: This is What Kept Me Up Last Night

I don’t know if I could be angrier this morning. In July, I was interviewed by NYT journalist Apoorva Mandavilli for this article about school reopening, How to Reopen Schools: What Science and Other Countries Teach Us. We spoke for about twenty minutes or so and here is the quote that made its way around newsrooms:

“I’m just going to say it: It feels like we’re playing Russian roulette with our kids and our staff,” said Robin Cogan, a nurse at the Yorkship School in Camden, N.J., who serves on the state’s committee on reopening schools.

Little did I know how prescient my comment was. I have been deeply entrenched in school safety throughout the pandemic, as have the more than 96,000 school nurses across the country. We are tasked with an impossible mission, a guessing game of who may have COVID19 in our school communities. The stressors on school nurses are mounting.  Between pushback from parents, teachers, and administrators when we are attempting to keep students and staff safe by following ever-changing guidelines, many school nurses are feeling in a no-win situation and second-guessing career paths.

This is what kept me up last night: Covid-19 Live Updates: White House Pressured C.D.C. Over School Risks.  Read this article, take it in, understand the implications for the almost 56,000,000 students that are in various phases of returning to school. We cannot tolerate the politicization of our previously most trusted institutions. Wearing masks should be a national response, actually a natural response to protect each other. Who have we become as a nation? We must not accept the policies of this corrupt administration and their systematic dismantling of science and upending our democracy.

Remember the 7W’s – it’s literally all we have (there were 6, but I added one)

  • Wear a mask
  • Wash your hands
  • Watch your distance
  • When you or your children are sick, stay home
  • When the health department calls, cooperate with contact tracing
  • Windows, open windows and doors to improve ventilation
  • When November 3rd comes, VOTE for Biden/Harris to end this nightmare

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