The COVID-19 outbreak is one of the most significant public issues that this nation has faced. COVID-19 was declared a national emergency in March 2020. Ever since then, life has been completely different, we were in quarantine for months, gas prices hit a dollar for the first time in decades, and this country’s unemployment rate was the highest since the great depression. The reason why I believe the COVID-19 outbreak was the biggest issue since the 2008 recession is because it changed millions of American’s lives. With that being said, imagine the doctors, nurses, and medical professionals who worked tirelessly during the pandemic, witnessing people die from this disease, having the entire country call your work/profession a lie or a hoax, and dealing with aggressive patients refusing to wear a mask or social distance. Nurses, Doctors, and medical professionals are burnt out, they’ve been exhausted and overworked since the pandemic started, they have to deal with toxic management, who prioritize making $$$ over saving lives.
My mother currently works at one of the largest hospitals in Minnesota and she worked during the pandemic. Every day when she’d come home after work, she’d update me on how “filled up & packed” the hospital is. She witnessed Nurses get emotional because there weren’t enough beds in the ICU for COVID patients. The most upsetting thing she told me was how they prioritize people, for instance, if an ambulance rushes in a patient, they will get helped first, instead of the sick patient with COVID. I’ll never forget when she told me that her hospital set up tents, and filled them with COVID patients. All while people are still partying, socializing, and putting more people at risk.
You might be asking where I’m going with this, and I’ll tell you. 15,000 Minnesota Nurses have gone on Strike because they’re not being paid fairly, they are short-staffed and overworked, and both of these factors harm patient care. Because when these Nurses go on strike, there will be nobody who will help patients. These are the same Nurses who worked so hard and saved lives throughout the pandemic and the Union representing them is not providing them with what they deserve. Nurses, Doctors, and all Medical Professionals deserve higher pay & better working conditions. I don’t know why this has lasted longer than it already has, these people helped save lives during the pandemic. They faced the ugly and put themselves at risk every day by working directly with COVID.
If Nurses and Doctors don’t receive better working conditions & pay, they will leave their profession and that will put many American lives in potential danger because it will soon become a game of “Which life should we prioritize today? & We need to help this patient first, they are more urgent”. I don’t want to live in a world, where my life is measured by the sense of urgency. COVID-19 caused so much damage to the health workforce, there’s this quote from this article that caught my eye “We’re doing twice as much work essentially for the same compensation and with fewer resources.”- This came from an ICU nurse with 14 years of experience, this is so devastating. Action needs to be taken place, and the state needs to do something, there should NOT be a nursing shortage, these are great people who dedicated their lives to help and save ours, and they deserve excellent working conditions, and pay.
- 15,000 Minnesota nurses kick off 3-day strike (fiercehealthcare.com)
- Strike by 15,000 in Minnesota a clear sign of growing crisis in nursing | Patrick Malone & Associates P.C. | DC Injury Lawyers – JDSupra
- How does COVID-19 unemployment compare to the Great Depression? (brookings.edu)
- The Minnesota nurses strike is over, but there’s still no deal (chiefhealthcareexecutive.com)
- The Coronavirus Pandemic’s Economic Impact (census.gov)
- The Covid-19 effects on societies and economies | News | Wellcome