Rhonda Richardson Davis

Rhonda Richardson Davis (BSN ’00), MSN, RN, is adjunct faculty in the Loewenberg College of Nursing and pastor’s wife at Saint Paul Baptist Church.

As a nurse, you are often asked for advice about things you know about and sometimes things you don’t. COVID-19 was no different. And a major platform that was affected was local churches. Being the wife of the pastor and a nurse, I was placed in a position to not only help my church but to reach out to several other congregations to offer advice on COVID-19 as they planned to re-enter their sanctuaries. I shared strategies to help them maintain a healthy environment that would protect members and staff and slow the spread of COVID-19. Knowing that the church is an environment where transmission can easily occur, I supported the leaders to implement protocols for physical distancing before, during, and after services including seating arrangements, modified worship practices and dismissal procedures. Churches developed task forces to coordinate and provide oversight in the worship center as well. This has been so rewarding. As I often say to my church, we may be socially distant, but we are spiritually connected.

Being in healthcare, the facts are very important but my faith is equally important. This is how I have encouraged myself and my family to respond during these uncertain times. We have also been volunteering and helping those we know who are at high risk and cannot go out during these times. We have also stayed close to family by having a weekly game night. Every Friday, my parents, siblings, aunts and cousins log on for game night. My sister is the host and usually coordinates the game we will play, and we have a blast. This gives us an opportunity to see one another and mom always closes with a prayer. This has been so good for my parents who are in Georgia because when they see the smiles on our faces, they are reassured that we are going to get through this together!

My advice to others is to stay connected. If you are a member of a church take advantage of the virtual opportunities that are being provided. Being spiritually connected makes a big difference in times like these. Also find ways to help others in need. You can still maintain social distancing by dropping off groceries to a neighbor or friend or running an errand. And please make sure your family is a priority. You need them just as much as they need you. A phone call or FaceTime will do until we can hug and share the same space again. I often say together we are better.