Nurses ‘frightened,’ confused by lack of PPE, changing policies
The year started out with energy and excitement as nurses across the country, including Iowa, engaged in planning and activities to celebrate the “Year of the Nurse.” Within weeks, attention turned to concern for nurses as the COVID-19 outbreak evolved into a pandemic. On April 7, the Iowa Department of Public Health announced that 23% […]
I wish it hadn’t taken a pandemic to make me recognize my privilege
I’m writing this on a rainy Easter Sunday afternoon when it would be easy to focus on what was missing. Normally, my husband and I would have started our day at church, either at our beloved home parish or at the downtown cathedral. It would have been a beautiful celebration, with glorious music, flowers and […]
Reciprocity and protectionism: Where does that leave the ‘golden rule’?
If this column were about trade agreements, it would have been titled, “Economics of Reciprocity and Protectionism.” These terms have ethical and economic meanings. The ethics of reciprocity concerns “The Golden Rule”: Do unto others as you would have them do to you. All major religions and philosophies have some articulation or variant of the […]
Stuck at home with your partner? Look to retirees for how to make it work
Across the country an unprecedented number of couples are suddenly spending every waking and sleeping hour of the day with one another. That’s what many older retired couples do too, even when there isn’t a pandemic. Their experiences are worth listening to, because many psychology studies find that marriages among the Medicare-eligible set are the […]
Amazing heroes in the fight against coronavirus
One of my memories, one that had been tucked away back where the cobwebs congregate, is from that day in 2004 when the oldest Evans daughter graduated from Saint Louis University. The graduates crowded onto the arena floor for the commencement ceremony. They were grouped by their areas of study — business, education, arts and […]
How coronavirus threatens the seasonal farmworkers at the heart of the American food supply
Many Americans may find bare grocery store shelves the most worrying sign of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their food system. But, for the most part, shortages of shelf-stable items like pasta, canned beans and peanut butter are temporary because the U.S. continues to produce enough food to meet demand – even if […]
If Iowa is already practicing ‘shelter in place,’ why not call it that?
Gov. Kim Reynolds, as part of her argument against ordering Iowans to “shelter in place” to prevent the spread of COVID-19, suggests that her existing emergency orders have the same effect. “There is still some disconnect in terms of what we have done and what the expectations are, and actually what’s taking place in other […]
Information is as vital as face masks during COVID crisis
We have all become acutely aware in the past few weeks why masks and face shields, respirators and ventilators are so important for hospital workers and their patients. The supply is not keeping up with the need, and that could have dire consequences for the doctors, nurses and patients. Likewise, the coronavirus crisis has underscored […]
Don’t let the ‘new normal’ leave the public out of public business
The news that the State Capitol was closing to the public due to the coronavirus outbreak was just one in a stream of emails from government agencies over the past two weeks announcing they would be conducting the people’s business while temporarily ending the people’s access to public offices. Social distancing is important right now […]
Nurse, pregnant mom, caregiver, pilot’s wife still waiting for COVID test results
I’m a nurse, public health professional, soon-to-be nurse practitioner, wife of a pilot, caregiver to an elderly grandmother, pregnant mom of three, soon to be four, and best friend to a woman set to deliver her second baby any day. COVID-19 is all-consuming for me and I know I am not alone. On March 18, […]
Adaptive Ethics: Losing fear and living mindfully
The ancients knew something that we have forgotten in our daily digital skedaddle. Smartphones tell us where to be and what to do every minute, pinging us incessantly with pesky reminders about meetings, appointments, notifications and incomplete chores, assignments and deadlines. On top of this, we make lists. There are apps for that, too, under […]
Should Congress demand America’s youth give a year of service to their country?
What does it mean to serve the United States, and who should be required to do so? On March 25, 2020, after three years of investigation, the National Commission for Military, National, and Public Service is expected to make its final recommendations on the issue to Congress. Members of the nonpartisan commission hope that their […]