Christmas has been a lot different for many of us. Those feeling extra grateful this year are people who have worked for months on the frontlines of the response to the coronavirus.
Nurse Dominique Peterson got to spend Christmas morning with her family, but Friday night, she was working a 12-hour shift at NCH North Naples Hospital.
Frontline workers like Peterson have seen a lot. Despite everything that’s happened in 2020 due to the pandemic, she is staying positive and thankful. She’s helped pregnant mothers give birth while they also battle COVID-19.
“It’s been crazy. It’s been crazy for everybody. But in health care, we’ve learned to be very flexible about things,” Peterson said.
She spent time with her family for the holiday and then went back to respond to patients alongside her fellow nurses.
“Three a.m. and 4 a.m. is hard, but we will get through it,” Peterson said. “I’m sure we are all going to be a little sleep deprived because we usually choose to spend some extra time with our family on these days instead of getting sleep.”
Even though we all can agree 2020 has been tough, to say the least, Peterson says she’s tried to see the positive in everything.
“Usually, during the holidays we are rushing from one place to the next place, to the next place, to the next, so much so that we are drained,” Peterson said. “It was really nice to be able to just spend Christmas Eve in solitude with my family.”
With multiple COVID-19 vaccines, there’s hope next Christmas will be better.
Although Peterson is inside NCH, she knows she’s not the only person who has been on the frontlines for months and working on Christmas. From law enforcement to firefighters, other health care workers and their families, she says thank you.
“It’s been a year with this, but we are going to get through it.”