Looking back at a traumatic yet inspiring year
AURORA AGUILAR EDITOR @aurorabr13
It’s been the slowest and the fastest year of our lives. Despite warnings from scientists, the pandemic felt like it came as a flash to most of us. By this time last year, however, the chaos slowed and we waited. Waited to see how the spread would be managed. Waited to see how much longer our professional and personal lives would be impacted. Waited for those dreaded reports of hospital surges. Waited to see who would get sick and who might not make it. Meanwhile, healthcare’s front-line workers were in a whirlwind, already fatigued two months in, and many were feeling hopeless. Modern Healthcare last year marked National Hospital Week and National Nurses Week to show gratitude for their service through a series of vignettes beautifully reported by Alex Kacik. This year, he has returned to some of those people to hear how they’re doing one year later. The fortitude and sense of service displayed by these individuals are humbling to me. As Corey Feist, brother-in-law of Dr. Lorna Breen, the physician who committed suicide during the pandemic, wonders in his powerful opinion piece (see page 42), “How do healthcare leaders deal with the fact that their workforce … has become despondent?” In this second year of honoring hospitals and nurses during a pandemic, I ask all leaders to take stock of the emotional and mental well-being of their staff, from the front line to colleagues in the C-suite. How the industry weathered this crisis should be celebrated, as should all the sacrifices healthcare workers make every day. We thank you for all that you’ve done to keep us safe.