My wife isn’t prone to breakdown very easily. If you know Kelly then you know she’s not the emotional one in the family, that’s me. I can choke up at a Target Christmas ad, but usually Kelly keeps it together.
When she learned a long-suffering COVID-19 patient was going home, her dam broke.
Kelly was one of many members of the hospital staff who worked on the patient and who took such joy in the fact the patient was going home.
Wow, my wife helped save someone’s life. She’s in the medical profession, so this isn’t the first time she’s done that, and it is why she’s there, but against an enemy that has no vaccine, this is huge.
I have heard doctors and nurses talk about the “wins” they get fighting the coronavirus and how much that means to them, but seeing her emotions open up like that was something I’ll never forget.
I also thought about all the people who think the virus is some elaborate political hoax aimed at changing the White House.
I thought about all the lies people pass along on Facebook about the virus.
I thought about all the people whining COVID-19 had forced them to social distance instead of going to the bars or restaurants or camping.
I thought %$^&$# you.
Kelly and I have talked a lot about the misinformation passed along through social media, and how people feel so entitled they cannot even stay home or wear a mask even if it means saving the lives of the people they love the most.
She said it feels like people are being disrespectful to her and all people in the medical profession.
I understand, at least as much as a layman can. It’s difficult to have your work disrespected; to know what you are doing is important and hard, and yet to have people post lies about it on social media.
Facebook is a cesspool of lies, racism and political propaganda, and it is where people share stories from complete strangers just because they want to believe something. They have no idea who these people are, but if they want to believe it, they share it as factual.
It makes what my wife does that much harder. She and others have to defend what they do and why they do it against people who either get paid to post lies or do it for political reasons.
Imagine going to work and doing your job and all the while people are going behind your back saying what you’re doing is a lie and part of a scheme to keep people down.
Imagine going to work and doing your job, a job others depend on to stay alive. You block out all the crap people are saying and posting about your job because the people who need you the most know you are doing everything you can to keep them alive. They put their lives in your hands.
Imagine, despite fighting a virus science is still working to understand, all your hard work pays off, and the patient gets better.
That’s something worthy of a good cry.
Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor at The Telegram.