Melissa Coughlin, RN reflects

The following letter from Melissa Coughlin, RN, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital nurse and a Town of Medfield Board of Health member, appeared in the Medfield Patch –

Thank you Medfield

Today I reflected on all that we have been through and I am proud of us, Medfield.

I need to say, Thank You.

We still have a long uncharted road ahead of us, so it too early to say thank you. I do not think so. Would saying a premature thank you cause any harm? I think not. I believe it is never untimely to share appreciation and love.

So here it goes. On April 1st I sat in front of my laptop terrified for our future. I typed out this plea, “APRIL 2020 will define how this pandemic plays out. THIS MONTH. Please help by making the decision you will be proud to talk about in 10 years, 20 years, and 30 years from now. This is it; we are here. No second chances”

Today I reflected on this statement. So much has happened in the past two and a half months. I am left with an enormous sense of gratitude and pride for this town, my friends, my family, and my colleagues.

In April, we were prepared for the worst and hoped for the best. We were debriefed about how to triage patients by a certain metric to see who would get the ventilator and who would not. As health care workers, we did not get an extra point if it came down to it. They told us this. We lost sleep, we lost weight, we lost time with our loved ones. We were forging into the unknown. We were scared.

You cheered for us. You made us lunches. You dropped off signs that said “HOPE”. You paraded down our streets and honked your horns. You sent us cards. You sent us coffee. You sent us gifts. You took our pictures because we did not know what tomorrow would bring. You gave us an invisible armor that we will never forget. You gave us confidence to face the uncertainties and the fears.

You did what we all thought was impossible. You quarantined. You stayed in your homes. You survived over 60 cancelled school days. You home schooled. You became teachers and teachers became known as heroes that they have always been. You did not get to be in that play that you had worked so hard for. You postponed weddings. You cancelled trips. You missed COA events. You graduated from your cars! You did it.

You learned about ZOOM. You learned to a new way to communicate. You learned what an empty calendar feels like. You learned to have dinner around the table. You learned about few new Netflix’s shows. You learned to watch sunsets from the tailgates of your cars. You learned to slow down.

You made it possible for us to gather our PPE, make room for our ICU patients, and most importantly you made it possible to have enough ventilators so we never had to decide if that healthcare worker would or would not get one.

Medfield continues to hold onto to one of the lowest number of cases in the MetroWest because of you.

As I said, we still have a new and unfamiliar road ahead of us, but I believe its okay to stop and reflect. Look at what we have done! We have done what once felt impossible.

We are writing the town’s history books Medfield, and I am proud of the story we are telling. What the next chapters will look like continue to be up to us. Let us maintain behaviors that we will have the privilege to talk about in the years to come.

*I am a Medfield Board of Health Member, a bedside nurse at The Brigham and Woman’s Hospital, and a Medfield “townie”. This article is my opinion and not that of the BOH or the BWH*


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