Susan E. Mazer, Ph.D. Blog

Thoughts and ideas on healthcare

Hi, and welcome to my blog! I'm Susan E. Mazer -- a knowledge expert and thought leader on how the environment of care impacts the patient experience. Topics I write about include safety, satisfaction, hospital noise, nursing, care at the bedside, and much more. Subscribe below to get email notices so you won't miss any great content.

Healing from Trauma: 9/11 and COVID-19

September 11, 2020

It was 7 am when my father called me from Detroit. He said turn on the TV.

What we saw was frightening. We did not know what we were seeing. A fire? Then the second plane hit. Slowly we came to see this was an attack.

When the towers collapsed, it was a terrifying view. But, this was not a movie. This was in real-time. This was the painful birth of a new era of fear, of panic, of racism, of paranoia, and of anger.

That is how it feels today during this coronavirus pandemic.

There was enough blame to go around, just like there is now. But, then and now, blame was useless. Blame is always useless, it offers no solution or relief.

On that day in 2001, we were ready to begin recording our first Guided Imagery program for what would become C.A.R.E. with Guided Imagery. Rosemary Johnson, RN at St. Charles Medical Center, was with us on 9/11/2001 since she was there with us to record Guided Imagery as our narrator. Rosemary lived in Bend, Oregon.

We looked at each other and, in unison, decided that of all the days to do this, THIS was the day. We felt the call to be in service, to help heal and soothe what was happening and what was to come.

It is now 2020. The pain of that moment remains like an old wound. However, the scar tissue that has formed is tough and unsightly. That is how it feels now. A feeling similar to the ongoing effects of COVID-19.

In the middle of the era of COVID-19, just as in 2001, the best and the worst of us have been fed by fear, loss, and distrust.

Our first responders today are as brave and courageous as those who ran into the burning inferno. And, COVID-19 is deadlier. It takes longer to die. It has “burned” so much further than a building or a city block. Like 9/11, the pain spreads far and long. Today over 190,000 people have died from COVID. There are over 61 times more deaths caused by COVID-19 then on 9/11 and still growing.

This is personal for me. Because more has happened in the last 19 years. However, I believe this is personal for everyone.

The question I ask myself is, “What am I doing today to contribute to the healing of our community and our country? What am I doing to feed the spirit of those who feel lost today?”

Our team as Healing HealthCare Systems remains fully engaged in this work of healing, of being authentically invested in those who need hope and respite from the fears that surround them.

If you or your facility needs additional assistance in providing a healing environment for your patients we are here to help. We are committed to providing help in the best way we can through our programming. Please enjoy this small bit of respite from the grief and pain in the world.


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