To the editor:

This week is National Nurses Week. Nurses have always done heroic, lifesaving work that deserves recognition beyond a single week in May, but this year that is especially true.

In Illinois, we’re fortunate to have more than 150,000 hardworking nurses fighting for us against COVID-19. This includes hundreds of retired nurses who have courageously renewed their licenses to rejoin the workforce when we needed them most.

The coronavirus outbreak has radically changed what it means to be a nurse. In addition to providing vital health care and emotional support to those in their care, nurses’ own lives and the lives of their loved ones are now on the line.�

While we don’t yet have exact statistics on the rate of COVID-19 infections and deaths among health care workers, we do know at least 5,000 of them have tested positive for the virus in Illinois. That number should not come as a surprise, as many of them are being directly exposed to the virus by reporting to work at hospitals, clinics and long-term care facilities where they treat COVID-19 patients day after day.�

Let National Nurses Week serve as a reminder to each of us to do everything we can to keep our nurses safer as they fight on our behalf in this crisis. Wash your hands frequently, wear a face covering when instructed, clean commonly touched surfaces often, and stay home as much as possible. Remind your friends, family and neighbors to do the same.�

I urge everyone to honor nurses not just in social media posts and one-sentence texts to the nurses in our lives, but with real, meaningful actions that will keep them and their families better protected from the impact of COVID-19.

State Rep. Joyce Mason

61st Representative District


via | Lake County Journal

May 14, 2020 at 05:12PM