BARRIE -- It's often said that not all heroes wear capes.

These days more and more are wearing scrubs and a face mask.

Sharon Ramagnano worked at Sunnybrook Regional Health Centre as a nurse in emergency trauma for 25 years and has spent the last year at Barrie's Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) as the manager of the Emergency Department.

She admits she has seen a lot during her time as a nurse but says nothing compares to COVID-19.

"I lived through SARS and was sick in SARS as well, so I definitely remember the fear that the staff had," she says. "This is almost identical to that fear. You see some of the same confusion, apprehension, uncertainty; however, this is definitely worse."

Today marks the start of National Nurses Week, and Ramagnano says it's the support from the community that has helped her persevere.

"The community of Barrie has been unbelievably important during this time, and it has been such a scary time for the staff. To know that we have had that support from the community members that have reached out has really just made the staff feel so important and so loved."

For Char Lameront, a registered nurse at RVH for the last 25 years, nurse's week has evolved quite a bit.

"In most years we have done big celebrations, such as make your own sundae night. This year, my team is being awesome about understanding that we have to maintain social distancing for all of our safety. As a result, we are not able to do that but are really looking forward to what we will be able to do when we come out of this crisis."

Despite not being able to enjoy an ice cream treat together, Ramagnano says two simple words can go a long way.

"We do have the ability to still say thank you."

With hospitals practicing social distancing this year, gifts are not accepted. However, you can participate by using the #nationalnursingweek to show your support on social media.