I believe a lot of us are thinking about our health care folks today. I just read an article from Doctors Without Borders sharing the current life of one of their ER docs in New York.
He survived the Ebola virus and now is tackling COVID-19. With all he has encountered, he says this scares him.
His days are long, dealing with the same symptoms over and over. Can there be much worse than patient after patient not being able to breathe normally? I can’t imagine. Add to it the issue of not having enough respirators and other equipment, and the whole process for keeping yourself from being contaminated with limited supplies….how amazing they are.
And it’s not just the doctors. How about the others on the front lines there? With no visitors allowed there, the nurses and others that deal with patients are not just the medical caretakers, but are the human contact for so many people. They try to be cheerful, in a situation that is anything but.
There are the food service workers, who are making sure there is food for all.
And can you imagine being one of the heroes of the housekeeping department? What stress they must be under, for so little in return.
There are those who don’t get the benefit of having medical charts to read before they see their patients. EMS folks – we know you’re there, treading into unknown territory with each call you answer. You are amazing.
There are so many in the healthcare system who are going to work each day and doing their normal jobs in an abnormal world with an extra measure of courage. Some, like New York, are in a full out war zones. Others are waiting to see if and when it will hit their areas and if they are ready to roll when it does.
People are getting the idea that only older folks are at risk. This is so very wrong. It can hit any of us, and will hit many of us. Even if you are not immune-compromised, this is a new virus. You do not have immunity. Many previously healthy young people are dying. It can hit any one.
Stay at home if you can. They don’t need more patients. We have the power to flatten the curve; to give our healthcare people more time to prepare for what could be a huge influx of infectious people who need their help. Everything they do is changing, but the one thing that is not is their commitment to their patients. It’s time we commit to them, too.
Do you really need to go out? It’s a time to be in touch with what are your wants and what are your needs. If you don’t have needs that require you be out, stay home. Stay healthy. This is not the time for immature rebellion or political conspiracy theories. People are dying and fighting for their lives. Don’t take yours for granted and don’t let your foolishness put others at risk. Let’s lift up instead of squashing down.
If do you feel the need to go out, do something useful. Give blood or platelets, deliver Meals on Wheels, check in with your local homeless shelter and see what they lack. These are legitimate needs you can fill if you have restless energy.
But especially if you are high risk, stay home. And let people know your needs if you’re someone whose current job is not getting infected with this virus.
And P.S. to healthcare folks – thanks for even taking care of the stupid people who know better and do dumb things anyway.
“The first wealth is health.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson