One Death Too Many

Angie Szumlinski
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December 17, 2020
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At least 1,500 nurses across the globe have died from the coronavirus, though the figure is almost certainly underestimated, the leader of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) said in a Medscape article. “The fact that as many nurses have died during this pandemic as died during World War I is shocking,” said Howard Catton, CEO of the nurse’s organization. “Since May 2020 we have been calling for the standardized and systemic collection of data on health care worker infections and deaths and the fact that it is still not happening is a scandal”.

The number of nursing deaths cited was collected from only 44 nations in the world, Catton said during the Nightengale 2020 virtual conference. The ICN’s own analysis of data suggests 20,000 health care workers have died worldwide but weaknesses in data collection make it impossible to know. Johns Hopkins University says 46 million people have been infected worldwide and 1.2 million have died of virus-related reasons.

Even one COVID-19 death is too many. In my mind, 1,500 or 15,000, either number is way too high. We need to protect those who provide the care in our communities. Ensure they are trained, have appropriate PPE, don’t cut corners, have time off to rest and refresh and above all, know that YOU care and will do whatever it takes to keep them safe. Stay the course, stay strong, stay well, mask up and stay tuned!


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