TheBeyondWoman Magazine Issue #11 - Page 34

In addition to this increased level of stress , there is the feeling of guilt often resulting from “ the responsibility that you take on when somebody dies , and you weren ' t able to call their family to say goodbye . Some caregivers who recovered from COVID feel guilt , often asking why they lived , and so many of their patients died . Such selfblame may manifest in different ways depression , anxiety , feeling sad , and especially , for me , as women , “ we often feel like we ' re not enough .” Sandra speaks of a mental and physical toughness required to function effectively , noting , “ Today , we don ' t have the volume as we did a year ago , but we still have cases , and they ' re just as distressing . You never get used to the impact of the virus on each individual ."
Still , in those moments of sharing , educating , and advocating , Sandra usually leave out her personal story of loss and sacrifice . For example , during the height of the pandemic , as she devoted herself to helping patients fight for their lives while working to ensure the safety of her colleagues and staff , Sandra sacrificed being with her grandson , who was born prematurely . While a tough decision , Sandra believed staying away from him was the greatest sacrifice to keep him safe . In the same vein , she lost an aunt and an uncle to the virus . Yet , she held a mental and physical toughness , pushing through all the personal pain to keep her commitment to her oath to " zealously seek to nurse those who are ill wherever they may be and whenever they are in need ."
Despite having more than twenty-seven years in the healthcare profession , Sandra shared , “ I never worked so hard in all my life .” She attributes this sentiment mainly to “ going in every day , not knowing what you ' re going to see , what your day is going to be like , because every day was just so it was different , but more of the same trauma after trauma , after trauma .” Her most challenging aspect was “ the volume , the magnitude of work , and not seeing your efforts producing any good outcomes .” Labeling the effects of this pandemic as the most challenging time of her life and my career , Sandra insists , “ this is something that I never , ever want to go through again .”
COVID-19 Vaccine Advocate
When William Shakespeare wrote , " The meaning of life is to find your gift . The purpose of life is to give it away ," he aptly described Sandra ’ s journey . Being an advocate in the fight against COVID-19 is not by chance . When her passion as a caregiver met her purpose as an advocate , she became fulfilled in helping others . Informed by her first-hand experience and shaped by her perspective on preventive care , her purposefilled passion energized and motivated her advocacy . Through the possibility of protecting herself and others from the spread of COVID-19 through vaccination , she became fired up , seizing every opportunity that allowed her to tap into the " spotlight factor " to get the message out . Sandra became focused on making a difference , positively impacting lives – informing and educating , while advocating for vaccination .
" The character of the nurse is as important as the knowledge she possesses ." This importance offered by Carolyn Jarvis was evident in Sandra ' s decision to become vaccinated - " Not to be the first one to take the vaccine , but to inspire people who look like me , who are skeptical in general about taking vaccines ." Sandra shared her commitment to inspiring people that look like her . Growing up , besides her grandmother and mother , whom she adored , and looked up to , she didn ' t have a lot of women in prominent places who looked like her , " who was black , dark complexion like me ." She further offered , " We weren ' t on the covers of magazines . We weren ' t on T . V . We weren ' t in any commercials that I can remember . So we didn ' t occupy any prominent places for me to say , you know what , that woman that looks just like me , I want to be just like her , because there were not many of us around in those spaces ." While today , young girls and boys growing up now can see more people looking like her in prominent places that they can aspire to , Sandra wanted to be that inspiration that makes people think and emulate her . " I want those that look like me to say , I can do it , or I want to be like Sandra ."
After taking the vaccine , some people on social media referred to Sandra as " such an idiot ." Ma-
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