Celebrating Covid-19 frontline workers

An Interview with O. Henry Parent, Mrs. Brigid Lynch RN, B.A.


March 2021 – Did you know that our school community includes parents who have been working the front lines during the Covid-19 pandemic? I had the opportunity to sit down with one of those parents to learn how she is making a difference in a Covid-19 world. 


Q: I understand you are a mom to an O. Henry student.  Can you tell me more about your family?

Lynch: I have an older son who went to O. Henry who is now in high school. I have a current 8th grader at O. Henry.  His name is Elliot Dodson. I also have two kiddos at Matthews Elementary.

Q:  Before the Covid-19 pandemic, what was your occupation?

Lynch: I was the school nurse at Matthews Elementary.

Q:  Once the Covid-19 pandemic hit, did your occupation change? And if so, how?

Lynch: It did change because the schools changed to remote learning. So for the rest of the school year I worked remotely as a school nurse to help make safety protocols for the school system. I also had the opportunity to work with Ascension Hospital system which is a very big national hospital system. 

This hospital system developed a program where patients who came to an emergency room for Covid-19 or who were in the hospital and then sent home, were enrolled in the program where they checked in three times a day with nursing staff so we could keep an eye on them.  We made sure they weren’t getting more sick and needed to return back to the hospital. We were also there to help answer their questions.  We also helped educate patients’ families on how to take care of their sick family members.

Q:  How do the people you are helping feel after receiving your support?

Lynch: The response from patients has been overwhelmingly positive. They express that because they have our program they feel a lot more comfortable being home while being sick and being nursed back to health. They know they can call us 24 hours a day and talk to a nurse.

Q: I understand you have also been giving the Covid-19 vaccine to people.  What has that experience been like?

Lynch: I’m going to tear up just talking about it.  It’s been wonderful. It’s definitely a highlight of my career.  I started administering the vaccine to healthcare workers in December.  It’s just really, really emotional.  People getting the vaccine are extremely grateful and happy.  They take selfies while getting their shots. Everyone is very excited to both receive and give the vaccine shots.

It’s just really, really emotional. People getting the vaccine are extremely grateful and happy.

— Brigid Lynch

Q: Being a frontline worker helping our community get vaccinated, how does that make you feel?

Lynch: I am very proud of being able to participate in helping our community get back to a healthy status.  I feel very proud of myself for being able to do that.  I’m very appreciative that I have the skills and that my employer has given me opportunities to be able to do this. 

Q: As a registered nurse, in your opinion why is it so important that everyone gets a vaccinated?

Lynch: Everything I do as a registered nurse is a practice in what we call “evidence based practice.”  That means that we rely on science and really, really intelligent people who put together the science and that is what the science is telling us to do right now. It’s telling us that everyone needs to get vaccinated to protect our entire community. 

Q: A vaccine for kids will be available at some point.  What would you say to kids who might be scared to get the vaccine? 

Lynch: I would tell them that it’s normal to be frightened to get the vaccine.  A lot of grown-ups got a little nervous when I gave them the vaccine too.  Overwhelmingly, everyone said to me, “Oh! You did it already?” or “This one didn’t feel like anything.”  So I’d like to encourage kiddos by saying that it really doesn’t hurt.  It’s the anticipation of getting the shot that is so much worse than the actual shot. Remember, you are making it worse in your head than it actually feels. 

As for things being said in the media about it being dangerous to get the vaccine, I would encourage kids to talk to their parents about that. Also, if they have questions they can talk to their school nurse. 

Q: When the pandemic is over and things are back to normal, will your occupation change?  If yes, how? 

Lynch: That is a great question.  I don’t know the answer to that yet. I haven’t even thought about that.  It probably will change because as we get more people healthy in our community, there won’t be as much of a need for the program where we monitor patients remotely.  However, having never worked in that line of nursing care before, I find that I really, really enjoy it.  I think it’s a wonderful way to keep patients educated and healthy.  It empowers them to take care of themselves. Maybe my future is going to be helping with a different type of illness in the same capacity.  I’m not sure, but I’m really glad I have the opportunity to think about it!

Q: Do you have any additional thoughts or feelings you would like to share with The Hoofbeat readers?

Lynch: I am very proud of the O. Henry community. The staff and students are so dedicated to keeping our community safe. I know everyone is doing the best that they can to social distance and wear masks. I am really proud of the effort the students and staff have put in.