It’s now two solid years since I started this project. Last year I “finished” the project by re-photographing three nurses on the anniversary of their first photos. I’m doing that again. Someone asked if I was going to keep doing this and I think I might. I’ve known these people so intimately over the past two years that so many of them, I think, are inextricably intwined in my life and I’ll need to know where they are and how they are.
Here’s Margaret, in 2020, 2021, and now in 2022, photographed in the same place. It’s interesting that the plants are now taller than she is.
March 2, 2022 — 710 days after stay at home order
” We all feel very powerless, even though all this money is being thrown at us, businesses and hospitals are sending out messages of thanks and gratitude that completely miss the mark. They don’t understand how dark it is. We’re used to the work right now, it’s just needless and useless sickness. I’m so tired of watching people wasting away in the hospital for no reason. I have a hard time holding it together.
The rewards of nursing are small moments that don’t get broadcasted for a photo op. It’s the tiny moments when you connect with a patient when you see the small steps of their recovery, and right now it’s harder to slow down and notice them because the quality of everybody’s interaction is strained. Our job is much more aggressive – our jobs are all fraught with aggression. It’s like we’re eating each other alive. Everyone in the hospital is short tempered. Everyone’s blaming each other for things. So much of this job isn’t what it used to be. It’s intensified, it’s solidified. We need time to remember that people are basically good, we need time to remember who we used to be. And for that I think nurses need to get louder and organized and work together, but nobody has the time for that.”