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Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario      

Dear colleagues,

The time has come to put to rest my COVID-19 blog.

It has been an intense journey. On Jan. 27, 2020, I sent out a report to RNAO members advising that Ontario health officials had confirmed a second “presumptive” case of 2019-nCoV in Toronto, Canada. The need for regular updates on what would become the first pandemic declared in more than 100 years quickly became obvious.

In response to this need, this initial report led to Doris’ COVID 19 Blog, a regular stream of blog reports – first daily, then more spaced – that continued until last month. The goals of the blog: to inform about the new virus, engage with the scary reality, and promote solidarity and togetherness as we confronted it. Not in our worst nightmares did we contemplate that the COVID-19 pandemic would consume our personal and professional lives for more than two years. Nor could we envision the level of suffering and number of challenges we would encounter in our families, in our workplaces and in society at large, both here and around the world.  

In total, there were 188 update reports, each one containing between two and four articles each, for a total of 530 items published in Doris’ COVID-19 blog. The readership analytics have provided phenomenal evidence of the need for information and responsiveness to feedback.

The richness of information, analysis and engagement with the issues has been breathtaking, as witnessed by the long list of keywords assigned to the hundreds of articles. I owe that richness to the expert and committed work of nurses, other health professionals and scientists everywhere on whose shoulders we stand.

Indeed, as I always repeated in our “Staying in touch” note, there was one constant throughout the pandemic: the silver lining of COVID-19 has been to work as one people for the good of all. Along the way, we built camaraderie, togetherness and resilience. We followed the science. We confronted misinformation. We supported those who are saving lives. We advocated for those who are vulnerable and frail. At RNAO, we have done all that work with unsurpassed commitment, evidence-based policy, compassion, courage and unwavering determination!

My profound gratitude to the millions of nurses and other health workers at home, abroad and everywhere who have dedicated themselves selflessly to the service of others. You continue to give it your all to preserve life and well-being. I extend huge gratitude and admiration to our tremendous RNAO staff and our board of directors. We have worked non-stop to support those in need – whether members, the media, the public, health organizations or patients and their loved ones.    

What’s next?

RNAO’s ongoing media presence has been profiled monthly in Doris' COVID-19 blog, thanks to our awesome communication staff. From now on, we will feature our media profile in RNAO’s monthly In the Loop to keep everyone updated on how RNAO is speaking out for nursing and health.

The COVID-19 blog will remain archived and accessible as a source of information and one record of many about RNAO’s rich work during the pandemic. RNAO members and staff, other health professionals everywhere, BPSOs at home and abroad – I dedicate this blog to you, with admiration and love!

And while my work on this blog will now rest, our collective work will not. As ever, we just continue to move to new challenges! Go to the In Focus section of the RNAO website for a glimpse into important areas of the association’s current work. Through the RNAO website you can keep up with our evolving work, such as the Nursing Week events next week – you are all invited to the many virtual events! – or our involvement in the Ontario provincial election.

Thanks for your faithful readership of Doris’ COVID 19 Blog.

Please keep well.

In peace, health and solidarity,

Doris

 

Doris Grinspun, RN, MSN, PhD, LLD(hon), Dr(hc), FAAN, FCAN, O.ONT.
Chief Executive Officer
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO)

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