Morocco, Interrupted

To the Nurse

Dear Nurse,

I never did get your name. I had been meaning to. I only met you once during my volunteer shift at Clinique Assalam. It was my first time volunteering there. I remember it like it was yesterday, maybe because it wasn’t so long ago. It was a Tuesday afternoon when I first met you. I remember walking to the clinic, constantly having to rub my sweaty palms on my lab coat to keep them dry. Part of me wanted to skip volunteering that day, but I knew the guilt of skipping out would weigh on me.

You put my nerves at ease when I first walked in. Your bright smile and welcoming personality made me feel like we were old friends. You taught me so much in such a short amount of time, and not just about being a nurse. You were honest and open and willing to answer any question I had about Moroccan culture. That day I learned so much in such a little amount of time. I didn’t want to leave that day, but I had to. But I was even more excited to come back the following week and learn even more.

Unfortunately, my time in Morocco was cut short by the coronavirus, as I’m sure you know. Every day I wish I was walking to the Clinique Assalam to volunteer during your shift; but instead, I sit here in my American quarantine.

I do wonder how are you doing? I’m sure you must be busy with an influx of patients fighting the coronavirus. Is it hard to handle over there? Over here it is awful. Hospitals are running out of beds, ventilators, masks, and resources. Massachusetts, where I live, has the third highest number of cases in the country. It’s hard not to be worried in a time like this, especially being someone like me who is immunocompromised.

I can’t stay at home because my mom is immunocompromised, too; so, I’ve been staying in a small house on a lake. I haven’t left the cabin since my quarantine started, and even when it is over, I don’t think I’ll be leaving anytime soon. Are you worried about the situation the world is facing? I know being a nurse at a time like this is hard work. I applaud you and all of the other nurses working endless hours to ensure the safety of others. Stay safe.

Until we meet again,

Mackenzie M.

Mackenzie Mahoney is an Applied Exercise Science major at the University of New England.

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