From a friend, a doctor of nursing, and an educator on the front lines:

I write this from love. Pure love. I am not holding back, because silence is complicit. I teach. Young people are watching us. They are dismayed. They shake their heads. I speak for them.

Please pay attention.

It is unethical to ignore this public health crisis in our nation.

We are letting a virus take over our lives. It is a virus. I've said this before. It has no pollical party and no allegiance. It simply seeks a host. We have given this virus way too many hosts. Freely and without even a second thought. Enough.

Ignoring this crisis shows extreme disrespect for our health care workers.

As of the first of November, 1,336 US health care workers have died from COVID exposure while on the job. A 2002 study showed 80-150 health care workers died from exposure to infection on the job. In a year. The worst months are coming up. Why are we not outraged?!

If 1,336 police officers died on the job in the last 8 months, would we be upset? I have former students on the police force. I would weep.

If 1,336 attorneys died on the job in the last 8 months, what would we do? I have dear friends and family members who are attorneys. I would demand to know why.

If 1336 teachers died on the job in the last 8 months, how would we react? I am a teacher. I am honored to teach new teachers. I would wail.

If 1336 miners died while working in the last 8 months, would we be outraged? My papa was a miner. I remember his stories. He was proud of his work. I was proud of him. I would cry out.

These fine health care workers are simply doing their jobs. They are exhausted; they are running on fumes. They are facing ridiculous challenges.

Why, you may ask, am I so troubled right now? I will share. I just finished messaging with one of my former students. She is in her fourth year as a nurse practitioner. Young, idealistic. Full of passion. She works in the Midwest. I will keep her name anonymous at her request, but she said I could share her story.

In her ICU, the beds are full. When one COVID patient dies, that bed fills quickly. Over the weekend, she and her team were preparing a patient to be put on a vent. As the MD on the team tried to explain the ramifications of this procedure, the patient cursed at the MD, told him the virus was not real and he only had the flu, and then, when the MD gently tried to once more explain the intubation. this very ill patient, full of anger, spat on the MD. The MD was wearing protective gear, but this act of disdain stunned my former student.

She connected with me because today the patient died.

If you know a health care worker, reach out to them. Tell them you appreciate them. Tell them you will mask. Wear your mask correctly. Distance. Stay home.

I honor our health care workers. I respect them. I was once one of them. I remember dealing with a meningitis outbreak as a young RN at Children's.

No one mocked the gowns/gloves/masks/protective gear we wore. Parents thanked us. They respected limitations on visiting. I felt honored and respected. No one denied what was clearly a public health crisis, albeit a small one in comparison to COVID.

We must do all we can to stop this.

I love Christmas, but it doesn't need to be celebrated with large family groups on December 25th. Host Christmas in July.

My very best holiday in the entire year is Christmas Eve. I love it. I love my traditions. I love my family around my table, but I will not gather with my beloved family members on the 24th. For the good of the whole. For the good of my community. For the good of my country.

I will define patriotism for you. A patriot does the right thing for our nation...for all Americans, right now. For those who are elderly, ill, or at risk of lethal COVID reactions. For all.

Please stop comparing wearing a mask to losing liberty. No one's liberty gives them the right to deny other people their lives.

My parents sacrificed during WWII. I know my papa would be dismayed to hear people claiming mask wearing takes away liberty. I know he would talk about rationing sugar and gas. I remember his stories about how he could not buy new tires for his car for years. People had curfew. They had black out curtains. All of these sacrifices were done for the good of the country. We live in a community and we do things for the sake of the common good.

I am not going to debate this, because it is no longer debatable. Wearing a mask does not mean we are a socialist nation. Nor is it the first step to communism. Do not comment bogus claims about masks not working or isolation not making a difference.

I have dear friends and loved ones in health care on the front lines. I have isolated myself since March, with my only "excursions" to the chemo clinic. I am one of the people some consider "disposable".

My life is not disposable. Neither are the lives of the health care workers we celebrated in the spring and now have conveniently forgotten.

I feel like a prophet. I have kindly and respectfully cried out about this since January. All that I feared and warned of is coming true.

Prophets are often disrespected. Even if I am disrespected, I will not disrespect anyone, but I will delete any lies, conspiracy theories, or comments that argue the reality of this virus. With impunity. Please think before you post. I'm finished discussing this. And, do not dare tell me this is fake news. If I never hear our free press called 'the enemy of the people' again, I will have great joy. You see, I also have dear friends and family who are journalists.

There is no anger like the anger of an Italian Nonnie who thinks those she holds dear are being disrespected or hurt.

We are all responsible for the well-being of our neighbors.
#EachPersonIsAPersonofWorth means it's time to get serious.

I am passionate about this. We can do this. Together.