University Park, IL,
15:55 PM

Nursing Professor Reflects on One Year into Pandemic

Tifany Jamison, a Professor of Nursing at Governors State University and a practicing family nurse practitioner, understands the frustration that comes with a year of wearing masks because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And, while she's encouraged by the number of Americans being vaccinated, Dr. Jamison warns people are mistaken if they believe things will quickly return to normal.

“That’s not how it’s going to work,” she said, adding that we can expect to be in masks for at least another year and may be two.

“The piece that we are missing is it’s not just the U.S.,” Jamison said. “It’s a worldwide pandemic. When you go to Europe, Australia and Africa—guess what? —they have protocols, too.”

A year ago, Jamison walked the GSU Newsroom through some of the precautions put in place in the early stages of the pandemic. While there has been some improvement since then, there still is much concern.

Here, Jamison reflects on how the pandemic has impacted her own family and offers tips to help us get through summer – safely.

  1. How should we behave as the weather changes and more people get vaccinated? It is getting nice out and everyone is getting excited. Try to minimize being indoors. Being out more is good. However, still wear masks. Take the same precautions. Those who are vaccinated, remember, everybody has not been vaccinated.
  2. How has COVID-19 affected your family? I lost my own grandfather. He would have been 99-years-old had he not succumbed to COVID-19. It was very devastating. I was livid because I knew the lack of caution played a role in the situation. He was at a memory care facility. One of the staff members tested positive.
  3. What’s still a common misconception about COVID-19? It’s just like with influenza. There’s not just (one) influenza. There are strains. There are variants. There are strains (of the virus) out there.
  4. Are we getting complacent? Yes, and it’s very mind-blowing for me. Something’s odd to me when you have intelligent people are they are still willy-nilly with it. Maybe not wear a mask and see what happens?
  5. Is there a bright side to all of this? The positive to all of this is when we buckled down as a nation and said, ‘Hey, this is real,’ the positivity rate was going down. When we worked together, you saw the positive change. People started considering everyone around them.