Saturday, February 20, 2016
In the spring of 1918, she volunteered as a nurse at King's County Hospital as a deadly flu epidemic spread through the city and the world. (More than 50 million people died of it between March 1918 and June 1920.) She began work at six each morning and worked twelve-hour days, changing linens, emptying bedpans, administering shots, enemas, and douches. The hospital was run like a military unit. When the head nurse entered the ward, the junior nurses stood at attention. "I like the order of life and the discipline. By contrast the life that I had been leading seemed disorderly and futile," she recalled. "One of the things that this year in the hospital made me realize is that one of the hardest things in the world is to organize ourselves and discipline ourselves."
-David Brooks, from his chapter Struggle, about Dorothy Day, in The Road To Character