Dare I say How Lucky We Are?


I'm sure that pointing out how lucky we are isn't going to be a popular statement a year into a difficult pandemic. However, I think it's helpful for us to consider experiences of the past and how our lives have benefited from the advances in science and technology. The Spanish Flu, a misnomer for sure since it didn't originate in Spain, basically occurred over a 2- year span from 1918-1920. It infected about a third of the world's population at the time, with a higher than expected death rate for younger people. There were no vaccines, no antiviral medications, or antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections. The best that could be offered to most of those who suffered from the virus was an Aspirin and a cool cloth on the forehead.(1)


Think about polio. My 82-year-old mother still remembers outbreaks in her town. She remembers that some families were put into quarantine, that some people were left permanently paralyzed and some of them died. There were outbreaks intermittently throughout the world for as long as history has been recorded, but the first documented epidemic in the US was in 1894. Interestingly, countries with higher standards of living, e.g. better hygiene, experienced waves of epidemics of polio throughout the first part of the 20th century. It's theorized that prior to better hygiene, exposure happened most often in infancy through contaminated water, a time when infant's immune systems and mother's antibodies resulted in mild illness. Polio was recognized as a contagious virus in 1905. It would take close to fifty more years for science to advance to the point where a vaccine was developed and offered to the general public. (2)


OK...I'm not blind to the impact that COVID 19 has had on our mental health, families, work and social life. However, we've had communication technology that has made this time much more bearable than it would have been even a decade prior and here we are receiving vaccines in less than a year!


I also can't help thinking of how the work of NPs has been highlighted in the pandemic. A good example is how technological changes have made it much easier to deliver health care online and many NPs I know now work in telehealth. NPs have been showing their worth in every area of health care. I'm so proud to be an NP! Seeing NPs in action is one of the reasons that the Nurse Practitioner Open Journal was created. We're receiving articles about NP practice and case studies related to NP work that have already been sent for review. We're eagerly anticipating our first publication. I know you have a story to tell! Why not check out our author guidelines and think about sharing it?


Stay safe!

Roberta


@robertaheale

Editor-In-Chief

Nurse Practitioner Open Journal



(1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu#Medical_treatment

(2) https://www.historyofvaccines.org/timeline/polio

57 views0 comments