Nurse shares her emotional plea after trying to buy groceries following a 48-hour shift

By now we've all seen reports of empty shelves at grocery stores as a result of people stocking up on food. For some, such stocking has been prudent preparation for hunkering down at home during this pandemic. For others, it's been panic-hoarding of everything they can get their hands on.


Despite public pleas for people to stop clearing out groceries, people keep doing it. And it's hurting those who are on the front line of this crisis—the people who have been so busy making life-saving preparations in hospitals and clinics that they can't "stock up"—our healthcare heroes.

A critical care nurse named Dawn, from the U.K., posted a tearful message online to ask people to stop and think about who may be impacted by their actions.

"So I've just come out of the supermarket," she said. "There's no fruit and veg."

"I had a little cry in there," she continued. She said she'd just come off of a 48-hour shift and wanted to pick up some food to get her through the next 48 hours before she returned to the hospital.

"There's no fruit. There's no vegetables. I don't know how I'm supposed to stay healthy...people are just stripping the shelves of basic foods. You just need to stop it, because it's people like me who are going to be looking after you when you're at your lowest"

Dawn is clearly exhausted and emotional, which is perfectly understandable. Working a 48-hour shift under the best of circumstances is difficult, but as a healthcare worker during a pandemic crisis, it's almost unfathomable. To then be greeted with empty shelves when you go to buy basic groceries? Overwhelming.

BBC Yorkshire shared an update that the nurse had been overwhelmed by people's kindness in response to her video and that she now had food and was doing fine. But stockpiling continues to strain stores, putting people on edge. So what can be done?

Aside from governments and public health officials telling people to buy responsibly, many supermarkets are starting to place limits on the number of any one item people are allowed to purchase. Rationing food, which just over a week ago seemed like a wartime remnant of a bygone era, appears to be the wisest course of action right now as we make our way through the uncertain weeks ahead.

If we all shop reasonably—buying a bit more so we don't have to go to the store as often but not hoarding—we can makes sure everyone gets what they need, especially our healthcare warriors on the front line.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less

The fasting period of Ramadan observed by Muslims around the world is a both an individual and communal observance. For the individual, it's a time to grow closer to God through sacrifice and detachment from physical desires. For the community, it's a time to gather in joy and fellowship at sunset, breaking bread together after abstaining from food and drink since sunrise.

The COVID-19 pandemic has limited group gatherings in many countries, putting a damper on the communal part of Ramadan. But for one community in Barcelona, Spain, a different faith has stepped up to make the after sunset meal, known as Iftar, as safe as possible for the Muslim community.

According to Reuters, Father Peio Sanchez, Santa Anna's rector, has opened the doors of the Catholic church's open-air cloisters to local Muslims to use for breaking the Ramadan fast. He sees the different faiths coming together as a symbol of civic coexistence.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of CeraVe
True

"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

Keep Reading Show less