This is my mom.
She is an essential worker.
As an oncology nurse, she cares for people dealing with the cruelest of diseases -- Cancer.
To receive a Cancer diagnosis and undergo subsequent treatment is difficult under any circumstances, but has become heartbreakingly lonely under current conditions.
Cancer patients are immunocompromised, making them highly susceptible to infection. Even the smallest of colds can have devastating effects on their bodies.
They need to be protected.
Now more than ever.
Yet, that protection comes at a price.
The price of being away from your children for days or weeks, because visitation policy only allows you one visitor.
The price of going in for chemo or radiation treatments without someone you love holding your hand.
The price of not being able to have friends by your side.
The price of having to lose the warmth and comfort of a smile now hidden behind a mask.
And, the ultimate price of potentially having to experience the end of life alone.
This is the emotional cost of Cancer in the time of COVID-19.
As I sit here, surrounded by husband and children, I reflect on how grateful I am to be able hold and hug the ones I love.
I think about my mother, who continues to work at a job where she has to be extra vigilant to ensure the safety of her patients.
I think about her patients, and how scared and lonely many must be feeling at this moment.
I think about their families and friends, who can visit them solely through the magic of a computer or phone screen.
I think about all of this, and I am reminded what all of this social distancing is for.
It is to keep people like my mom safe, so she can keep your loved ones safe.
It is to protect the most vulnerable.
I stay at home for them.
This post originally appeared on the author's Facebook page.