For the Good of the Other

Twenty-three years ago today, December 11, 1997, I graduated from an Associate of Applied Science - Associate Degree Nursing program. The school that I graduated from is now called Dallas College. I would later complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Theological Studies. 

When I graduated from nursing school, there was no lag time between graduation and working. I went to work on a medical-surgical unit, as a graduate nurse, on the Monday morning after my graduation. I was assigned a preceptor, but the preceptor had a patient assignment equal to my own. In those days, a graduate nurse was expected to come out of nursing school with the knowledge and skill set of a medical-surgical ward nurse. 

Nursing has changed a great deal since that day, but one thing has not change, people continue to be in need of nursing care. I have always thought nursing to be a stressful endeavor, but in this year, 2020, the stress of the work has abounded and has spilled over into the public sector. 

During my last shift, one of my patients, infected with Covid-19, had a myocardial infarction, was in cariogenic shock, was difficult to arouse and in acute respiratory failure. Chemical and fluid resuscitation measures were initiated, along with urgent intubation. 

For much of the day (I work 12 hour shifts), I was wearing a plastic gown, a hair covering, goggles, a microfiber N-95 mask and a surgical mask; yet when I am in the public sector, including the church building, most people refuse to wear a simple mask. Therefore, I offer a nursing diagnosis: Refusal to wear a mask in public settings related to an ill influenced will.

The Devil, sin and culture influence the will. I do not know what the Devil’s influence is, but I do know that he is the father of lies. COVID-19 is a real problem that hurts real people. You may not be currently showing signs of the virus, but you can be infecting other persons for several days before showing any signs. 

You might say, “I am not worried about it;” however, you should be wearing a simple mask for the others protection, if not your own. Selfishness is the second influence of the will. Selfishness is a larger influence on the will than even the Devil. It is being more concerned with ones own rights and comfort than the others good.

The third influence is culture. There is so much false information and opinions in the public sphere that people do not know what or whom to believe. I person recently said to me, “I think that the whole thing is made up by the government.” Americanism was founded on the twin sisters of rebellion and mistrust. 

What would it take to cause someone who currently is not wearing a mask in public settings, including the church building, to start wearing one? I write this as a nurse and theologian. Please wear a mask in public settings, which includes the church building, for the good of the other.

“Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Romans 13:8-10)