Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC

I usually write a Thanksgiving blog around this time of year. But at this point, I find myself (a person who is usually a “glass half-full” type, a cockeyed optimist, a Pollyanna kind of gal) … depressed for the first time in my life. Life is difficult right now for so many people.

I’m also angry. Angry at so many people who refuse to mask-up and take this pandemic seriously. I find myself angry and feeling impotent at the same time.

I can’t move anyone’s mentality. It’s already made up. Either you believe masks and social distancing will help or you think it’s all hog wash. The needle isn’t moving in any direction, except for the mounting deaths and surging cases o COVID-19. If you think it’s fake news, you aren’t changing your mind, even if someone dies at your feet.

The thing is, wearing a cloth mask is easy, like super easy. And having asthma, COPD or emphysema or whatever is not impacted by a cloth mask. It just isn’t.  And what if, what if it saved a life? What’s the big deal? I just don’t get it and I never will.

So why am I rambling on here? See, every Thanksgiving it has been my habit to meditate on what I am thankful for. I thought I would struggle this year, but I realize, despite my anger and depression, I have so very much to be thankful for. I am thankful for my nursing colleagues across all settings, who are risking their lives every darn day, despite all those who don’t do the right thing and wind up passing on the virus, harming my colleagues and the patients they serve. 

I am thankful for my family, who are willing to stay at their home and Zoom join a family Thanksgiving dinner. I’m thankful that my church webcasts its service. I am thankful for my small group that meets via Zoom weekly to study, pray and support each other. I’m thankful for a husband who is somehow putting up with my shifting moods and still hangs out with me. (It might have to do with the fact that I bake my way through stress!)

I am extremely thankful to work for a company that puts people over profit and has countless initiatives to assist each employee during this unprecedented time. 

I’m thankful for an editor who realizes that sometimes my blogs won’t be comedic and works with me anyway. I’m thankful that someone reads my bi-weekly ramblings.

I guess my point is, I know I am not alone in my mood this Thanksgiving. But if we look at all of our blessings, we can get through this. Together,  as always.

Just keeping it real (and thankful),

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, Senior Director of Clinical Innovation and Education for Mission Health Communities, LLC and an APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real-life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.