This is part of Thank You Notes, a series of letters offering gratitude to the people and things that inspire us most. Like many others, Allure has spent the pandemic looking inward. What we found was deep gratitude for the medical professionals that cared for our communities and our country during a profoundly difficult time. Then we wrote.
Dear Nurse Chris,
I remember the day the world shut down. Like you, I was based in New York City. Yet unlike the millions of us who retreated to our couches, binge-watched Netflix, and practiced our whipped-coffee-making skills, you sprung into action. Despite the darkness that loomed over our beloved city, nurses like you fearlessly persevered — with as much PPE gear as you could scrounge up — despite the risks. The deadliness of the virus forced you to stay isolated from friends and family members, but you made sure your patients never felt alone.
When I was agonizing over the decision to postpone my June 2020 wedding (I did), you and your colleagues spent your days intubating up to 20 patients per shift, FaceTiming helpless family members so they could say their final goodbyes to loved ones, and finally, holding people’s hands as they passed away.
This whole experience didn’t feel real to you — who would have ever thought this would become our reality? Yet, without hesitation, you traveled across the country to volunteer at a hospital in Utah. You said you even performed CPR on a stranger at your hotel, despite the potential risks of contracting COVID-19. As it turns out, this person had tested positive, and you were subsequently rushed home on a tiny organ donor aircraft — all alone once more. It goes without saying your actions were nothing short of admirable. And for that, we thank you.
Over the past 20 months, you have lost countless patients — and a handful of colleagues — to the disease, which has left devastating, lingering, long-term effects. When your co-worker died by suicide, you were shaken to the core. However, the tragedy served as a necessary reminder to prioritize self-care, set boundaries, and monitor your emotional well-being. In true Chris fashion, you (once again) sprung into action — this time, empowering other healthcare professionals to take care of themselves.