Posted April 2, 2020
The people and the stories of their journeys through the COVID-19 pandemic are many and certainly varied. There is not just one angle or one way to deal or to help.
Everyone can certainly look inside themselves and find a gift to give and help as we all try to navigate down the path of uncertainty.
This is Lorain County Community College nursing student Geri Martineau’s gift.
“I am focusing on making sure people have accurate information,” Geri said. “There is so much out there that people are spreading through social media that is inaccurate.” She put an emphasis on the “so much.”
Geri is 38 years old. She is a mom. And, after 15 years working in her chosen field of sociology and criminology, she, “reassessed my life.”
Geri has a bachelor’s degree from Cleveland State University in sociology with a concentration in criminology but she wanted to become a nurse. She is in her second semester in LCCC’s associate degree nursing program.
In the very first semester of her return to college, Geri took Microbiology from Dr. Harry Kestler. His celebrated background in infectious disease research in HIV-AIDS changed her life.
“I’ve been sharing his videos,” Geri said referring to Dr. Kestler’s daily CoVideo updates. “I’m proud to be a nursing student right now and, as people, we need to watch out for each other’s mental health. There is so much you can do whether you are in the medical field or not.” Geri has a 15 year old son who is autistic. “One of the things I did at my house right away was I made sure words like quarantine and coronavirus and COVID-19 are familiar words for my son, not scary words. I made it a positive thing to discuss and we didn’t push it aside and saved mental stress over them.” Her son, Billy, is one of the reasons she is pursuing her RN degree. “I think I have some life experiences to share and I think one of my strengths in nursing will be my ability to work one-on-one with patients and help comfort them when they are scared or confused.”
When Geri needs comfort, she turns to the cello she plays in the Lorain County Community College Orchestra. She loves to get lost in its strings. And, of course, if she needs an extra boost, she has Dr. Kestler’s knowledge.
“I am very glad to be involved in helping people right now and educating them with accurate information.”