I love nurses and I love doctors. Those professionals have contributed to my survival from the time I was born until now at the age of 78.

But this letter to the editor is not about me.

I read with interest the article in the Nov. 19 Tribune about Elizabeth Burud, a nursing student in Bemidji. She was telling the story about one of the patients and the emotional toll just one individual can have on the health care professionals.

When I am out in public, I get quite frustrated and disappointed at times. I feel that way when I see people not using a mask or not making an attempt to follow COVID guidelines in order to keep us all as safe as possible from this virus.

If you end up in the hospital with COVID, you are just one of a number of patients there. Yet your nurse will treat you as if you are the only one in the hospital that he/she has to care for.

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However, when you think about how physically and emotionally he/she is committed to you, consider the exponential impact on her or him. They may have any number more patients just like you for whom they are caring.

If you don’t think it’s taking its toll on them, please take time to listen to what they are publicly saying.

I will leave you with two thoughts.

First, when you read this, please pass this message about their concerns on what is happening with COVID on to those who may not see it.

Second, when you choose to not wear a mask or follow the guidelines, if you don’t do it for yourself or your family, do it for the nurses and doctors.

You may be the next one to need their care. I’m guessing you would want their total commitment to you.

James Swenson