D: I sat down last week with a health worker who has been working inside the coronavirus clinics at a major NSW Hospital. To protect their identity and career from any negative repercussions from state and federal health departments, they will be going by the name Florence Night-in-gaol for this interview, which I then had Nick record from transcript to further protect them.
I met Florence when I came down with flu-like symptoms and presented at their hospital to be tested for coronavirus so that I could ensure that if it had been spread to me through the community I could ensure that I wouldn’t spread to others.
I was refused testing because at that stage, and for more than two weeks after, the policy was to only test people who had travelled overseas if they developed symptoms. As I understand it that has now changed to include people who have been in direct contact with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and developed symptoms.
Florence agreed to talk to me for the podcast to provide some more information for the public and any listeners so that they can have a greater understanding of what’s actually going on inside the coronavirus clinics and behind closed doors.
This isn’t going to involve explaining how to wash your hands or maintain personal hygiene, nor will it involve discussion like ‘what is a virus’. It’s going to be what the public needs to understand about how poorly this outbreak has been handled in the community, and why the situation is far worse than the government has been letting on.
D: Thanks for agreeing to do this. When the coronavirus first spread outside of China, how were you and most of the people you were working alongside in health feeling about the risk of it becoming a pandemic?
F: I think we were very nonchalant in our response, we didn’t take it very seriously because we were told it was very similar to many of the other coronavirus strains that we had been warned about previously, like SARS or MERS. We didn’t really take notice of it, to be honest.
D: Why was that?
F: Because we’ve had multiple different respiratory illnesses or different viral illnesses that have gone around the world, such as SARS that originated in China. I think health professionals didn’t take COVID-19 seriously because it’s not the first type of coronavirus that has come out of China or another country and whenever these make it into the news it is always sensationalised.
For example, when the Ebola-scare occurred, it was very serious but it didn’t come to our shores and I have colleagues who were sent off to do Ebola training in the Northern Territory for three or four days, and it never came to us. So when the warnings started around this one, it was dismissed by most with a shrug.
D: Has that general feeling of nonchalance changed?
F: I think there are still people who would like to think this isn’t an issue, but especially over the last two weeks you can’t have worked in Health and not have it made blatantly apparent that this is unlike anything we have encountered before. What I mean by that is, we are having to change everything day-by-day and adapt our processes sometimes by the hour. Unlike SARS; unlike MERS; unlike Ebola; we were never pulled off wards, we never had workforce changes, it never really spread through the country. You’d hear about isolated cases here and there, but it wasn’t anything like this.
I think also there has been a lot more media attention and that winds up creating a situation where more members of the public are coming into hospitals and asking questions. So you’ve got staff members and health workers responding, panicking; but you’ve also got a lot of community members coming in and panicking, and so it creates a lot of tension.
D: What do believe the government has got right in their handling of this?
F: Oh, umm… I’m genuinely trying to think here.
D: Take your time.
F: I think the fact that… I believe there is a pandemic cost centre that has been created, I’m unsure if that is state or federal, but they are funding this, they are funding hospitals. So when it comes to staffing, I haven’t seen anyone have issues with staffing, with the cost of staffing. The issue of staffing levels is another question, but I’ll get to that in a second.
But I think the government is willing to throw Health money at this now, the problem with that is that it’s been years and years of neglect into the Health system, so it’s not something that you can suddenly draw on, it’s barren which is a problem. Other than that, I don’t actually think the government has done anything really… well. It may seem cynical, but everything the government has done has been slow, and it’s been hard to take it seriously.
It’s hard to take social-isolation seriously when you have the Prime Minister telling everybody to go out and watch the football, and we see that attitude with our patients. We have people come into the COVID-19 clinic to get screened, we educate them on the importance of social-isolation and then we see them down at the pub later in the day. So I don’t think there has been anything the government has done well, at this point.
D: So these people being screened and then going out in public and socialising, are they people presenting with symptoms of the COVID-19 virus?
F: Yes, so to get tested you have to have symptoms. Testing at the moment, which is another issue I believe, testing at the moment is very strict. To go into a public COVID-19 clinic, there are about 40 across NSW, to get tested you have to either:
- Have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, and that’s a confirmed case not ‘I sat on the bus going to work every day and people were coughing‘, it’s ‘Health called me and alerted me that I have been in contact with someone who is now a confirmed case of coronavirus‘; but you have to have had that contact. If you live in a household where the father has tested positive for coronavirus, the mother is getting tested, and their child has come in to be tested but hasn’t been in direct contact with the father, that child cannot be tested until the mother tests positive. So, it’s a kind of domino effect, but you lose a lot of valuable time in that regard.
- If you have travelled or gone overseas in the past 14 days, that has evolved, previously it was only China, and that was gradually expanded until now when it is any overseas travel in the last 14 days.
- If you are a health worker, the reason for that is not because we’re in any way special it’s simply because Health does not have the workforce to sustain ongoing management of this condition. They’re being very very vigilant to ensure staff are being tested, that they’re isolated straight away so they don’t spread it to their colleagues.
- If you’re in a coronavirus outbreak setting, we have several at the moment such as Bondi, Ryde, and Macquarie.
- If you’re Aboriginal and living in a rural or remote area.
- If you work in a high-risk area like a hospital, aged care facility, cruise ship, or boarding school.
So you have to meet one of those criteria and have symptoms, you have to have respiratory symptoms and a fever. It severely limits who we can screen. Most of the clinics are only accepting 30-40% of those presenting for screening, the rest are being turned away. It’s not that we don’t think they have COVID-19, it’s that they don’t meet the criteria. So the people we are seeing out in the community when they should be self-isolating, if we have tested them, they have a much higher chance of having COVID-19 because of the stringent criteria.
So to be seeing them out at the pub, or school pick-ups, or at the shops, it really does show that we’re not taking this seriously yet.
D: What needs to change then?
F: Unfortunately I think it will change slowly. I had hoped that the increasing numbers, the exponential growth each day, I hoped that would create change and people would start to take this seriously. Sadly I think people will need to start dying, in large numbers, for it really to get into the community that when we’re saying “self-isolate” we’re not doing so lightly or flippantly, it’s a real thing. I think it’s important that people understand the testing criteria because when you’re sitting in your home and hearing that 40 new people have been diagnosed, NSW is very big, millions of people live here, so it’s not that scary, 40 people a day.
The threat seems distant, but when you look at the fact that we’re only testing this small group of people, plus the fact that tests can take 3-5 days to come back, you start to figure out that the number of cases of COVID-19 in the community is much higher than the official data.
D: How do we catch the cases that slip through the cracks?
F: Right now, we don’t. One of the problems with the stringent criteria is that there are cases being documented where people have come in with diarrhea, stomach pains, vomiting and they have tested positive for COVID-19. The screening criteria would never pick them up as a potential case, and so they’re sitting in a crowded Emergency Department for 5-6 hours, which means effectively that entire room has been contaminated. The rate of transmission at the moment is about 15 minutes if you’re within 1.5m of somebody, and around 2 hours if you’re in a small enclosed room with someone. But, a single cough can also cause transmission, so, these are rough figures.
But the patient sits in ED for hours, they’re vomiting, they have diarrhea, but they’re not isolated because they’re not presenting with respiratory symptoms even though they have COVID-19.
That’s just one of the problems with the current process.
D: Do you think more people need to be tested whether they’re symptomatic or not? Or do you think it’s more in line with some of the international responses where they’ve shut everything down, kept everyone inside, and if you get sick the health workers will treat you?
F: I think we need to test more people, the problem with that is we don’t have the equipment or capacity to test more people. Let me be clear, at no point did medical professionals sit down and say we are only going to test people using this criteria because that’s all that’s needed. What has happened is we have looked at the number of testing kits that we have how many testing kits we can get our hands on; we have looked at the size of the workforce that is needed for testing; the number of tests that the pathology unit can run, and we’ve come up with criteria to help us identify the worst cases.
I think we absolutely should be testing more people, I think we should self-isolate; this virus, as far as we understand at this stage, can stay in your system for about 14 days and in this time there is a risk of transmission and contagion. If we were to do a shutdown like some other countries have done, we would flatten the curve but to be able to successfully self-isolate across the country you need to be able to show the severity of this pandemic.
D: And you don’t think that exists in the community right now?
F: No, I don’t. It really doesn’t help when you’ve got people like Alan Jones going on radio and claiming it’s a hoax, there is also a need to acknowledge that Australia is a racist country, and so there is a very dismissive attitude towards this condition because it came from China. COVID-19 doesn’t care what colour your skin is, it will do damage to your lungs regardless. So, I don’t think it’s being taken seriously at the moment and I also don’t think that the overt focus of Health departments and government on the elderly is going to be enough. The elderly are more at risk of death from this condition, but it absolutely is going to become an old person problem and Australia doesn’t treat their elderly well.
So it’s easy to ignore for members of the public.
For some 25-year-old heading to the beach or having some beers at the end of the day, it’s easy to justify these actions because they’ve been told that this is an old person disease. That she’ll be right, it won’t happen to me mentality is creating the exponential growth of the rates of infection.
The problem is that when you look at data of who has been tested and been found to have the disease, which is very different to who actually has the disease, it’s been younger people who have a higher incidence of COVID-19 infection. Most have been under the age of 40, it’s just that the elderly, with comorbidities, are the people who are dying so far.
Children are presenting with symptoms to be tested in the clinics, we have school-age children coming into the hospitals, it’s happening, it’s out there. We also have a story the government is selling about the need for schools to stay open, and so if they start admitting that kids are getting sick the pressure will be on to close all schools. So instead they focus on the elderly and say we need to protect them, instead of doing their utmost to protect the whole community.
D: Do you think there has been a massive failure on the part of government and health officials to convey the seriousness of this disease by predominantly focusing on the increased risk to the elderly?
F: There is an increased risk to the elderly, I’m not saying that there’s not but yes, I think it allows people to be complacent. A great example is when you tell parents not to take their kids out and about on weekends, they turn around and say, well they go to school so what’s the difference? It’s quite hypocritical to turn around and have a go at people for going to Bondi beach on a Saturday when you’ve got a school of 700+ students staying open through the week. And you only have to go down to any school at pick-up or drop-off times and you see how many parents and children are crowding together.
It’s contradictory, and in a pandemic, people aren’t thinking clearly. They stress and overreact, we’ve seen it with toilet paper hoarding and fights in supermarkets over canned goods.
People aren’t thinking properly, they need guidance, they need a very clear black-and-white directive: this is what we are doing, this is what you must do. If the government wants to promote social-isolation, then they need to socially-isolate. Get everyone in their homes and say, this is what is needed so that we can get on top of this. Right now they’re saying it could take six months to a year, but even a two-week lockdown with mandatory social-isolation would be massively beneficial to the community.
D: What is the situation like in hospitals when it comes to testing and the availability of testing?
F: We’re running out. It’s that simple. I don’t know if the smaller hospitals have been running out, but I work at a particularly large hospital and we are running out. It changes the testing criteria, but it also means that you’re forced to make clinical choices that aren’t best practice.
D: What do you mean by that?
F: With the testing swabs, you have two choices for how you are going to test for COVID-19; you have nasopharyngeal swab or an oropharyngeal swab. When this first started a few weeks ago, we were conducting both. Over time as we’ve realised there are shortages, people have been choosing either a nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab, and in some of the worst cases they’re using a single swab to perform both tests.
A nasopharyngeal swab is a swab that goes up your nose, and it has to go as deep as the distance between your nose and your ear. An oropharyngeal swab is just a swab of the back of the pharynx, which is at the back of your throat.
You need to use different swabs for both tests, otherwise, you can contaminate your specimen, but now we’re forced to choose one or the other. Some staff have been doing just the oropharyngeal swab, but the CDC has recently said that the nasopharyngeal swab is the best way to screen for COVID-19.
This highlights a few things for me, we weren’t ready for a respiratory pandemic of this scale; we don’t have enough equipment; we don’t have the training. It’s alarming that you can be working in such a large hospital and have staff completing these tests, which have already been limited to a small number of people, and they’re still making basic mistakes because they don’t have the information they desperately need.
D: What about PPE? There have been reports around the world of doctors, nurses, and other health workers not having enough PPE or having to reuse different equipment.
F: It’s Mad Max out there.
D: How so?
F: There are multiple factors to this, and people in the community have a huge role in regard to these shortages. About two weeks ago we started noticing that we would have people coming in from the community and they were stealing from the hospital. People were walking in and taking whole boxes of gloves, gowns, masks; masks particularly.
The thing to understand is that we don’t have enough already to deal with this, add to that the thefts, plus some staff taking from the hospital, and we have very little left to work with. The bleach wipes we use in hospitals to clean surfaces, we had about 20 boxes of them at the start of the week, after three days they were all gone.
So no, we don’t have enough, we don’t have enough masks, the M95 masks that are necessary for dealing with coronavirus, we aren’t able to use them unless we are dealing with a confirmed case. But even on a rush, it takes around 24 hours to get a test back, and so in that time, we’re using surgical masks. We have more of those, but not nearly enough, and it creates shortages for surgeries.
I’ve seen people reusing goggles, face-shields, gloves – which is absolutely disgusting. Some hospitals have been cancelling elective surgeries, which reduces the strain on PPE and cuts the number of patients in the hospitals.
But a central concern is that we are going to see cascading failures, as PPE becomes unavailable it creates the risk of contamination beyond just the coronavirus as we cannot maintain sterile fields. I’ve heard stories of surgeries where only the surgeon, anaesthetist and scrub nurse were allowed to use masks. It’s horrific.
D: Have hospitals started experiencing issues with staffing shortages?
F: This is the most ironic part of this entire saga. If the public, if governments were to learn any one thing from this COVID-19 pandemic, it should be that health was already stripped bare. Before this pandemic started we were already working with bare-minimum staffing numbers, we were already whittled down as far as the system could handle without total collapse, and this pandemic has come along and smashed us.
I don’t think the lesson will be learnt, I think once this is over they’re going to focus on the economic response to coronavirus.
The problem at the moment is because we don’t have enough staff it causes a lot of issues – people who aren’t qualified are put into coronavirus clinics, you have existing shortages on wards and then they pull people to work in the clinics, or the Emergency Department, or the ICU. We’re very lucky in Australia that it hasn’t hit the ICUs yet. Many hospitals across the state are opening up purpose-built ICU centres to handle the influx of patients. One small positive of the last few years is that the NSW Liberal government did provide a lot of funding for infrastructure in hospitals, so we have a lot of open, built units that have never been used because we don’t have the funding for staff to fill them. So that means that some hospitals that have got an old ICU that they can reopen and have two ICUs operating in this crisis.
Staffing is a problem though, and what’s happening in my hospital and in a lot of hospitals across the state we’re seeing nurses being pulled back onto the floor. I’m not sure if people are aware of this, but not all nurses are working face-to-face on the wards with patients. Many are doing research or academia or service planning in hospitals; a lot of these nurses are being pulled back on the floor and some of them haven’t worked on the floor for up to 30-40 years. And they’re coming back on to the floor to work because that’s how short-staffed we are, and we are still yet to reach the peak of this pandemic locally.
D: You’ve mentioned that some staff are having to perform tests without adequate training, but when it comes to the flow of information through the hospitals; because of the criteria for testing being constantly updated; the health department operating on a near-hourly basis with the information they’re releasing and updating their recommendations; have you come across many issues with staff being able to access that information or being provided with that information as required?
F: It’s a huge issue. In the clinic, I’ve heard more up-to-date information from members of the public coming in to be tested than I have received from the health professionals I’m working alongside. I’ve had people come in and explain to me that there are new or altered criteria for testing, for example, cruise ships. There was a period there where there were several Qantas flights that needed to be tested, I didn’t know that and that wasn’t brought up until the end of my shift.
So up-to-date, up-to-the-minute information? Absolutely not.
I had a manager question why I was testing healthcare workers because they weren’t aware that there had been a government directive that we were to start testing healthcare workers. It’s mayhem, I’ve been in situations where we are literally throwing screening paperwork at each other because we don’t have the time to think.
In terms of us getting information and providing it to the public, we had to create a list of people coming back in after being tested and not hearing anything about their results, and this is up to a week later, and they don’t have their results yet from health. They haven’t received a call or text message. Some of them have tested positive, so they’re coming back to the hospital after a week in the community asking for information.
And because we’re having to update this day-by-day there’s no opportunity for planning, there’s no high-level planning, no one is able to assess what we need. I know other hospitals have had to move their clinics multiple times because it hasn’t met the infection control standards or has been inconveniently positioned in a manner that creates a greater risk to the community.
When you think about it, all hospitals should have an existing pandemic plan.
D: What’s the general mood in hospitals among staff? How are people feeling? Are they scared, concerned, angry, tired?
F: The mood is different for everybody, obviously, you have a large workforce. Some of the older nurses for whom this will be their last career challenge, many are looking at retirement because the stress from this is too much. Some nurses who find a measure of order in the chaos are finding this to be thrilling, working in such challenging circumstances; but some are being foolhardy, they’re not following process and procedures. We also have around 50% of the workforce with children and so they’re quite stressed about what they’ll have to do if the schools are forced to close, especially with the expectation from NSW Health that we keep working no matter what. The actual plan is for us to pick up extra shifts over time, so healthcare professionals don’t get to stop in this, they don’t get a break.
I think there is a trepidation moving into this pandemic. We have been told by Health that this is expected to last 6-12 months, so clear your diaries for the next year.
But mostly I think the biggest feeling across the workforce, especially for nurses, is that we’re pissed off. We’ve been asking for increased staffing, we’ve been asking for ratios for years now, and we already have situations with unsafe nurse-to-patient ratios. And now there’s going to be a pandemic on top of that, especially in Emergency Departments which are so understaffed and unsafe.
There’s also the amount of abuse we face from the community on any given day, add a pandemic to that and we’re getting abused constantly. So healthcare workers are tired, we’re not even a month in and nurses are already exhausted, they’re angry, they’re stretched, and I don’t think anyone has a real clear idea how long this is going to go for.
D: Do you think Australia’s health system is equipped for the next 6-12 months?
F: No. I don’t think Australia’s health system was equipped for the last 6-12 months, I don’t think Australia’s health system has been equipped for the last five years. Australia’s health system is great at building shiny new hospitals, but they don’t staff them. We’re not innovative. We’re not forward-thinking. We are quite archaic in our health practices. We are extremely underresourced.
D: Why do you think the hand hygiene campaign has become such a central focus for public information and do you believe that the campaign has been effective in the community?
F: I think hand hygiene has become a central focus because it’s easy, short enough to fit into ads, and is something that everyone can do. It’s like the ‘duck and cover’ posters and videos from the Cold War.
Can hand hygiene stop the spread of COVID-19? Yes, it can, but so can not coughing in someone’s face, social-isolation, and the various other measures that have been discussed. Because COVID-19 is spread via droplets, so saliva and snot and all the other gunk that gets sprayed when someone sneezes, you’re more likely to accidentally spit at someone than to touch them with your hand so the disease is more likely to spread that way. But everybody should be washing their hands anyway; one of the most disgusting realisations for me has been how many people don’t actually know how to wash their hands, so maybe we should always have had hand hygiene campaigns.
People put their hands under water for a couple of seconds and they think it’s clean.
D: But not all of the transmission of the virus comes from direct contact, from what I understand, the virus can live on surfaces for…
F: For nine hours. COVID-19 can live on surfaces for nine hours and what kills that is bleach. How many ads have you seen on TV telling people to wipe down their houses with bleach? None.
We need to see a wider message advising the public to clean surfaces with bleach, practice hand hygiene, sneezing and coughing into your elbow, cover your mouth, and not wearing gloves in public because it perpetuates the problem.
D: What surfaces would that include? When it comes to wiping down places where people may have coughed or sneezed or wiped their hand on something when it comes to the essential services, like supermarkets, that are staying open we’re not seeing customers or staff wiping down surfaces like checkouts, trolleys and baskets, or anything in the self-serve areas. Is that one of the ways the infection could spread?
F: That’s absolutely one of the ways the infection has spread. One of the early identifications of an issue in the hospital system was that we weren’t wiping down the emergency chairs. We don’t consistently wipe down visitor chairs. Go into a medical centre and ask them how often they clean their seats. It’s interesting now to see cafes posting videos to social media showing how they’re now cleaning their chairs, and I’m left wondering what their cleaning schedule was like before this started. As someone working in this field, you become very aware of what people are doing. I saw a video of a hairdresser showing people that they were washing their combs, like what, you weren’t doing that before?
Supermarkets absolutely need to be ramping up their cleaning schedules and procedures. What stops them from wiping down commonly touched surfaces? There’s no excuse for not doing that.
It’s also why hand sanitiser has become so important as well, but that doesn’t replace hand washing, you can only use hand sanitiser a couple of times before you need to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
D: You mentioned just before that people shouldn’t be wearing gloves in public, why is that?
F: If someone puts gloves on, they drive around, they go to the shops, they’re touching plenty of surfaces without a care in the world, feeling protected because they’re wearing gloves. You don’t see people washing gloves, someone going around all day wearing a single pair of gloves has essentially gone a full day without washing their hands, spreading who knows what.
When they come into the hospital and are touching surfaces without having washed their hands, they won’t even use the hospital sanitiser because they have gloves on. It’s disgusting.
D: What’s your advice to Australians who may be listening?
F: Stay inside. Socially isolate for two weeks and actually stay inside. Something that people need to realise is that there is currently no medication treatment for COVID-19. Scientists are working on a vaccine, but there is no treatment. Unless you actually need to have a positive indication for work or whatever it may be, stay home. Don’t come into the hospital because you think you’re infected if you’re not experiencing symptoms. A sore throat and blocked nose isn’t a reason to come in for testing, it puts us under enormous pressure and puts you at risk of infection. Stay in your house for 14 days, take care of yourself, eat, sleep, drink water. Don’t take ibuprofen, stick to panadol every four hours and see a doctor if symptoms persist or worsen.
For most people, symptom presentation will be mild.
D: What are the common symptoms?
F: Fever, a dry cough, sore throat, and shortness of breath. A lot of people have told me it feels like their chest is really tight with shallow breathing, and it does a lot of damage to the lungs, which is why we need to be able to keep hospitals clear for those who need it. However, as mentioned, COVID-19 does have some atypical symptoms such as fatigue, malaise, muscle and/or joint pain.
D: Does it appear to be more fatal than previous pandemic or epidemic outbreaks? You mentioned SARS and MERS, but compared with those is COVID-19 more transmissible; does it have a higher rate of death; or is it because of the lax global response that made it spread so far that there’s not really a fair comparison to those diseases?
F: The only two real conditions that had a widespread response that coronavirus COVID-19 has had – and the reason I keep saying COVID-19 is because SARS and MERS fall under the same criteria as this coronavirus – the only two respiratory conditions that have had a similar response to this are SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, and MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.
SARS originated in China in 2002, and it’s actually more deadly than COVID-19 but isn’t as transmissible, it made its way to some 26 countries before it was contained and is believed to have killed around 770 people and around 8000 people were diagnosed.
When you look at MERS, it spread to 27 countries in 2012, there were around 860 deaths from almost 2500 confirmed infections.
COVID-19 is already past both of those, in deaths and rates of infection.
D: And that’s because it’s more transmissible?
F: It’s more transmissible, but it also stays in the system for longer and lives on surfaces for longer. It’s also mutated, so there are two strains of COVID-19 that are out there.
D: Correct me if I’m wrong, and you’re not an epidemiologist so you may not have an answer to this, but is it true that when a virus spreads far enough, through enough people, because of the different genetic makeup of everyone in the world the more it spreads, the more it will mutate?
F: Yes, but you have to consider the fact that it has mutated many times already because that’s basic evolution. It went animal-to-animal over generations, before finally mutating to be able to transmit to humans. So for a while there it was only being transmitted animal-to-human, and now it has become human-to-human.
So we have people waiting for a vaccine, which is at least 12 months away, but we don’t know if by the time we develop that vaccine it will be the same version of the virus that we’re dealing with.
D: So we’re looking at the end of the world?
F: Not the end of the world, but we need to drastically reevaluate how we coexist, travel, and live within a global society. The virus will continue to mutate, and we have no idea what we’ll be up against in a year.
D: With that in mind, what future do you think Australia has with regard to the outbreak? Are we looking at something like Italy, China, South Korea, or the US?
F: I think we’re looking at an Italy or Europe style outbreak. The US is going to be worse than any other country because their health system is absolute garbage. There will be people refusing to go to the hospital for testing and treatment because their insurance doesn’t cover it. There are communities in America that can’t afford to isolate, to buy masks, to stay home, and so the outbreak in the US is going to be an entirely different beast to that which we’ve seen elsewhere. Not to mention their fuckwit President.
D: Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview and providing us with information that the public clearly needs, because I had no idea of so much of what you’ve said, and I would consider myself fairly well informed when it comes to these issues. It is the Year of the Nurse, is there anything you would like to say to your colleagues across the country and around the world?
F: Just that they’re amazing. It’s ironic because the Year of the Nurse is in recognition of the contributions nurses make and the risks associated with nursing shortages.
D: Well, that seems about right. Florence Night-in-gaol, thank you for your time and hopefully we can talk again in the future, under less dangerous conditions, and without the need to hide your identity.
Until then, I have been Dean Fletcher for 3 White Guys + Guest, and stay safe out there everyone.