As we look at the rising number of COVID-19 cases in recent days, and the strain already placed on our country’s health workers and health care systems, we can’t help but wonder what lies ahead over the next several months.
We know that our union members have stepped up and offered care under the most unusual circumstances in this year of the pandemic. The strain that this virus has placed on families and worksites has been unimaginable and has placed a burden on the physical and mental stamina of many.
In California, our governor has pulled back on reopening in many areas. In Hawaii, new cases have started to drop, but anticipated holiday travel could bring about restrictions down the line there as well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is asking people not to travel over the Thanksgiving holidays.
The new year does bring hope as three different vaccines will be available soon. Distribution plans for these vaccines are in discussion now, and California has prepared to put high-risk health care workers first in line. Hawaii and California will both be ready when the vaccination is available.
The holiday season can be stressful. That stress now is greatly magnified by events playing out in the headlines as patient census climbs in our nation’s hospitals. The battles around masking, bed availability, and nursing shortages continue, and after months of dealing with this virus, we know that many of our co-workers and communities are stressed. Many may feel isolated from friends and family, more so than in years past.
UNAC/UHCP is all of us, together, and we are here for you. Please let your affiliate or chapter steward, local officer or staff representative know if you need help or support during this challenging time.
We have gathered resources to offer support: unacuhcp.org/COVID-19
We also have a special on-demand 90-minute continuing education course on managing the PTSD and stress from COVID-19: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5779146776359669771
As a union, we’ll get through this together by supporting each other in every way we can.
Denise Duncan, RN