A love letter to nurses during the pandemic:

Thank you.

There will never be adequate words in enough languages to properly convey the depth of gratitude the world owes you right now. So, all I can say—all WE can say—is thank you. From the bottom of my heart, a million times: thank you.

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I know you are exhausted and overwhelmed. You are working extra shifts and longer hours because there simply are not enough nurses available to care for the alarming number of patients being admitted to the hospital. Your days are long and stressful, and you feel like you are drowning.

I know this is not what you signed up for when you became a healthcare professional. You do not complain or begrudge the new duties that have arisen because of COVID-19, but I see how frustrated and tired you are. At times, you feel broken and helpless.

I know sometimes you feel like you are failing at work and at home. I wish I could convince you the exact opposite is true: you are a hero, literally saving lives. At home, you are a rock star mom who is doing the best she can under unprecedented circumstances, and your little ones see this and appreciate you and love you.

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I know you are scared. You do not want to contract this terrible virus, and you constantly worry you might expose your loved ones. For all the protective equipment you wear, and the safety protocols you follow, you undertake a huge risk every time you go to work.

I know your job is not glamorous. You routinely get other people’s bodily fluids on you. Patients call you names and treat you badly sometimes. And still, you care for them and treat them with respect and dignity. You put their health and wellness above all else, perhaps including your own.

But I implore you to know: your sacrifice does not go unnoticed.  The world sees you, and we recognize the countless struggles and challenges you are currently facing. We need you right now, more than ever.

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I hope you know you are an amazing example of compassion and bravery for your children, and that is a remarkable gift you are providing to them. I believe it is a lesson that will last a lifetime.

To all the nurses and healthcare workers who courageously stand on the frontlines of this battle and fight against COVID-19: thank you and God bless you.

Leslie Froelich

 Leslie Froelich is a freelance writer and co-founder and facilitator of a postpartum depression support group in the Cleveland, Ohio, area, run through the organization POEM (Perinatal Outreach and Encouragement for Moms). Her work has appeared on Scary Mommy, The Huffington Post, American Greetings, Postpartum Progress, Motherly, Hot Moms Club, and The Purrington Post. Leslie is a former full-time reporter and current freelance writer and translator for Mundo Hispanico newspaper, a Spanish-language affiliate of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Currently, she stays home with her two daughters, Elizabeth and Maggie, her cat, Liberty, and she has been married to her spouse, Nick, since 2007.