Remember the 2011 movie Contagion starring Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow? It’s about a novel virus that sweeps the world leaving millions of people dead. Epidemiologists were hired by the filmmakers to get the science of pandemics right and develop a plot that could really happen.
Well, here we are and it’s really happening. Coronavirus. Covid19. This whole thing feels surreal to me, like we’re actors in a movie.
But this post is not about Covid19. There’s already an abundance of information being blasted in our faces on a second by second basis.
This post is to say thank you to all of my colleagues in healthcare. I want to acknowledge the selfless, brave, courageous, amazing women and men who are working tirelessly on the frontlines during this unprecedented global health crisis.
Although I’m a nurse, I no longer work in direct patient care. So the least I can do is to write this letter of gratitude to my fellow colleagues around the world who are battling it out on the frontlines, those I know personally and those I don’t.
A Letter of Gratitude
Dear nurses, doctors, patient care aides, receptionists, pharmacists, therapists, social workers, case managers, phlebotomists, lab technicians, researchers, scientists, cleaning crews, volunteers, food workers, students, and all other healthcare workers,
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for putting your life on the line to take care of patients during this insane, unpredictable, frightening pandemic.
I know you’re scared. I know you’re tired. I know you’re making huge sacrifices for the greater good. While the rest of the world is hunkering down and not going out, you’re putting yourselves directly in the line of fire.
Not only are you showing up, but many of you are working without appropriate resources and support. You’re being forced to use suboptimal personal protective equipment (PPE), you’re running out of proper face masks, you’re short-staffed, you’re trying to find childcare while schools closed, you’re worried about your families and communities, you’re being stretched to your absolute maximum mentally, physically and emotionally.
Largely due to a dire lack of proper protective gear, healthcare workers all over the world are contracting Covid19. And some, like this nurse from Mt Sinai West in New York City, have tragically lost their lives to this virulent, highly contagious virus.
The CDC recently recommended that healthcare workers switch from using N95 masks to looser fitting surgical masks due to a worldwide shortage of N95s. Wow. And a paucity of Covid19 tests has meant that many of you have been sent home for ‘just in case’ quarantines.
Yet you keep going. You don’t give up. You continue to fight.
Please accept my gratitude and admiration for everything you do.
You are all heroes. Today and every day.
With Much Love,
How You Can Help Healthcare Workers
Our world’s healthcare workers are working under extraordinary circumstances in the midst of the Covid19 pandemic. Here are a few things you can do to help them:
- Please do not bulk buy and hoard personal protective equipment (PPE)-especially masks. Our healthcare workers’ lives depend on having the appropriate protection to take care of patients.
- If you have PPE, especially N95 masks, please consider donating them to hospitals and healthcare workers.
- If you’re able, offer to help with shopping, food prep, childcare or other errands for healthcare workers.
- If you have cold or flu-like symptoms, call your healthcare provider BEFORE you go in.
- Ask your healthcare providers if they’re offering telehealth or virtual visits for non-emergent matters.
- Don’t go to the ER unless you’re having a true emergency. If you think you may have symptoms of Covid19, call your primary provider first.
- Stay out of the hospital if you can! This means delaying elective procedures, surgeries or admissions. Despite hospitals and providers being told not to perform elective procedures, some are still doing them.
- Practice social-distancing! This article from NPR will show you exactly what you need to do.
- Offer emotional support. This is so important. Especially during a time when we all need to be physically apart from one another.
- Show gratitude. Send cards, post messages on social media, make phone calls. A kind word goes a long way.
Spread Love, Not Viruses
Wow, what a mess. It’s easy to feel frightened and worried about so many things right now. The virus itself, the economy, our civilization. But I have faith that we will get through this. In the meantime, let’s remember to treat others with kindness, help each other out, and take proactive measures, to stop this unruly beast.
Spread the love, not the virus.
(And for flip’s sake, stop panic buying toilet paper. It’s so weird).
Thanks for reading! If you have questions or comments please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org