April 11, 2020

By Heidi N. Lucas
State Director
Missouri Nurses Association

Written exclusively for the Tribune

There is a storm coming. We all know it is coming and the waiting is terrifying. We don’t know when, we don’t know how bad it will be, and we don’t know how prepared we are until it gets here. But instead of a snow or ice storm, the storm that is coming is a virus.

Missouri’s nurses are serving on the front lines as our State responds to COVID-19. Every day, nurses are in harm’s way and they do not flinch from their responsibility to serve their patients – even in times like this.

In many ways, Missouri is lucky. Being in the center of the county, we have some warning before the worst hit. We have been able to see what has happened in China, in Italy, in Washington, and in New York. This give us the opportunity to be prepared for what is coming. Unfortunately, COVID-19 can be an invisible enemy. Many who have the virus do not know it and do not have any symptoms at all. Even if they do show signs of illness, it took many days to get to that point where the person is contagious and can spread it easily. Once you see it in your community, it is already too late.

The Missouri Nurses Association calls on all Missourians to stand together in support of the Nursing profession and in support of patients who get this awful disease. So, what can you do? Stay at home. Wash your hands. Do it for your friends, your family, and the state’s Nurses. By taking these steps, you can stop the spread and flatten the curve. By doing this we will help our nursing workforce and will get us back to “normal” more quickly.