TheBoldAge discusses a Moral Dilemma

Marion discusses a very personal conundrum

Published by Marion Foreman on Mar 26, 2020

We are, as everyone keeps telling us, in unchartered waters.  This pandemic is something, the like of which, we have never seen before.  My daughter, who is a Consultant Anaesthetist running an ICU, tells me that her team has prepared for all sorts of emergencies but never for anything on this scale.

So, what do we do?  Now I am not naturally someone who sticks to the rules.  I had to go on a driver awareness course before I convinced myself that speed limits have a place and need to be stuck to.  I certainly kick against every single rule that I don’t agree with.  One of my granddaughters is just like me – she’s really struggling right now.

So here I am – being told how long I can be outside every day – being told what is ‘essential’ to get from the shops.  And do you know what?  I am sticking to the rules – why?  Because if we don’t more and more people will get ill and more will die.  Sticking to the rules saves life – period. 

Where I am struggling is about returning to real work.  I had lovely ways of earning money before all this started; I worked in the gym, I went to care homes and I ran circuit classes.  And of course, I went to college and I wrote and wrote.  The gym is closed, we can’t go into care homes and people with cancer are in a high-risk group.  College is now online, and every meeting is on the phone.  I have more time than I ever thought possible.  I am enjoying writing and my daily walks and my workouts.

But I feel guilty.  I am a nurse, I started my training in 1972 (no, Florence was not my tutor!) and qualified in 1975.  I have been a registered nurse for all that time.  I have done my CPD, my accredited hours and all my revalidation tasks.  So why am I sat at home when the NHS is crying out for help?

– I’m too old
– I’ll get tired if I work a whole shift
– I haven’t been on a ward for years
– I live with someone who has cancer
– I am trying to move to a new house
– I am scared


– I’m not too old to exercise every day
– I won’t get any more tired than I currently do with early starts everyday
– A bed bath is the same today as it was 50 years ago.  Being kind and helping doesn’t change
– The cancer is well under control
– The house move doesn’t need my constant attention
– Of course, I’m scared but I’m experienced and highly skilled
– People are dying
– NHS staff are exhausted
– My daughter is scared too – and she goes to work every single day

Today I sent off my application for flexible working as a nurse.  I am telling you not for glory and praise but to show you that I am putting my money where my mouth is.  There is no point boasting about being a nurse for 50 years if a ‘call to arms’ sees me scurrying off

What can you do to help?  What random act of kindness can you do today?