SILVER SPRING, MD—Today, March 11th, marks the one-year anniversary of the day when the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic. Over the past year, according to the American Nurses Association (ANA) more than 500 nurses* in the U.S. have made the ultimate sacrifice – losing their life to COVID-19, often succumbing to the disease after caring for patients afflicted with it.
In honor of their sacrifice, ANA encourages everyone to join together on the anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic and remember those nurses and health care professionals we have lost. This remembrance might take the form of a moment of silence at the start of the day and/or lighting a candle in honor of the fallen.
“On behalf of the ANA Enterprise, I extend our deepest condolences to the families, friends, colleagues, and communities mourning the fallen”, said ANA President Ernest Grant, PHD, RN, FAAN. “This solemn occasion is a time to honor these remarkable men and women and pay tribute to those who have lost their lives, so that others may live”.
Nurses are among some 3500 U.S. health care workers reported to have been lost due to COVID-19, and the more than 500,000 Americans who have died from the coronavirus.
“Now is the time for us all to recommit to take all necessary actions to protect health care workers and continue to stem the spread of this deadly disease—such as wearing a mask, hand washing, and social distancing,” said Grant. “ANA will continue to urge Congress and the Biden Administration to take action to provide resources to address the trauma, grief and PTSD of nurses and frontline health care workers, the critical failures of the supply chain for PPE and other supplies, and hazard pay to maintain a ready nursing workforce. The American Rescue Act will move us in the right direction, but more will need to be done to rebuild the public health infrastructure and workforce, maintain it in the future, and restore the health of communities nationwide.”
We can and must honor the legacies of the fallen by taking the actions necessary to protect health care workers and the public from future threats.
*Based on ANA’s tracking of nurses’ deaths reported by news organizations or other sources.
About the American Nurses Association (ANA)
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's 4.2 million registered nurses. ANA advances the profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. For more information, visit www.nursingworld.org.