Robin's Nest President's Column - July 2020

Robin Hertel

Several times in the past two weeks I have found myself needing to stop what I’m doing, pause for a moment and take some deep breaths. It’s helped me refocus on the tasks at hand and avoid plunging down a well of self-pity for the manner in which the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted life around me. I’ve also found I needed to unplug from social media for the time being because of the negativity and ill-informed content. Have you felt this way too?

The disruptions seem trivial upon further reflection – the AMSN National Convention was changed from an in-person and virtual conference to an all virtual conference. While I am very disappointed we won’t all be able to gather, share best and current practices, laugh and talk together and hear some amazing speakers the news isn’t all bad. More contact hours will be available for the same price to members, which is a definite plus.

Those members who “attend” virtually will also have access to all the content in the Online Library so it isn’t necessary to pick and choose between two or more great sessions occurring at the same time. Most importantly, however, is that all our members and attendees will not run the risk of developing a COVID-19 infection due to travel or convening in crowds. While I won’t be able to see you in-person, I hope you post a pic in the Convention app and tag me so that I can say hi. 

In the state in which I live (Kansas), the governor has declared that all people who are out in public are required to wear masks due to increasing numbers of COVID cases. While I applaud her proclamation, I know that there will still be individuals who resist compliance and who will be placing others at risk. I understand that wearing a mask isn’t the most comfortable, and it can make communication a challenge for many.

However, I believe the benefits outweigh the inconvenience and I don’t mind (really) that my glasses continue to fog up when I’m shopping for groceries. While I miss going out and gathering with friends or attending sporting events, I also have plenty around the house to keep me busy and I’m working to become mildly proficient at using virtual meeting platforms. I’ve even participated in some online gaming! 

While it may appear that I am choosing to look at recent events with a glass half-full approach, I’m actually choosing to be thankful for the glass itself. Sometimes we need to get down to the very basics and take a hard look at the reality around us.

I have been blessed to have a job that is secure, a home that I feel safe in, and I can still maintain contact with those who are important to me. If you are experience any of the negative effects of COVID-19, please apply for the Emergency COVID-19 Relief Grant that we have put into place. You can find more information on our new website! Take care of yourself and be safe. 

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