By: Bella Kolin
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, many healthcare workers are being exposed more frequently than most to a dangerous illness and putting their lives at risk each day to help those in need. This includes doctors, nurses, surgeons, paramedics, and many more medical professionals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires that all hospitals supply hand sanitizers in every patient room and makes sure that tissues and face masks are fully stocked, especially in the common areas. There is also a strict process intended to track down the available quantities of supplies, along with many more stringent requirements put forth by the CDC.
Because there is no vaccine yet, healthcare workers are scared that they can contract the virus while working with the sick and transfer it to their families. In the U.S., women hold 76% of healthcare jobs causing undue stress as many of these women are also mothers and typically administer a good portion of child care responsibilities in their homes. This has now become dangerous as the last thing they want to do is expose their children. Another concerning issue is equipment shortages. As hospitals around the world brace for this overwhelming virus, the need for equipment and supplies is very significant, and any supply shortages will affect the lives of anyone who has it. According to The New York Times, a nurse from George Washington University Hospital says that “the virus has created another burden nurses must face.” In other words, nurses around the world have been overloaded by the pressure from the virus because it is widely spread. Hours are very strenuous for doctors and nurses because people rely on them to help, and it is difficult for their families to adjust to the new way of living as healthcare workers balance work life and home life. As this is very hard for everyone in the medical field, it is up to people to stay home and be grateful to the people working tirelessly.
However, during this difficult time, people come together to help support their local heroes. For example, in Vernon, Connecticut, a local pizzeria donated lunches to the first responders in the police department. While in NY, a small Manhattan restaurant provides free meals every night to the staff at New York Presbyterian’s Lower Manhattan hospital. Since March 26th, restaurant workers have also been delivering meals to the hospital while keeping their distance. One restaurant worker said, “I personally walked into the emergency room, it is crazy how tirelessly they are working… nurses are standing up with their eyes closed, resting on a counter for a minute… they are the true heroes.” Across the world, organized clapping sessions have been created to give thanks and show appreciation to healthcare workers creating a trend using #clapbecausewecare. This happens in the neighborhoods surrounding NY hospitals at 7 pm every evening to express the growing gratitude for the true heroes of this pandemic.
If you, or someone you know, is willing to help the people on the frontlines, it is very important to stay home and maintain a distance of six feet from others if you go outside. By eliminating the people you come in contact with, there is a greater chance that you and those you care about will not contract the virus. Another way that you can help the greater good is by making masks! With a large demand for masks, it is hard for hospitals to provide these essential items. By picking up a new hobby and learning how to sew, you can help meet the demands. There are multiple videos and tutorials online that show the simple steps necessary to create a homemade mask. In addition to a shortage of PPE supplies, hospitals around the world face shortages in the amount of blood being donated. It is significant for healthy individuals to contribute to hospitals by donating blood. To find a center, visit the Red Cross website or the American Association of Blood Banks locator. Even though many see this as an inconvenience and a challenge to daily lives, others see it as a wake-up call and an opportunity to offer your assistance for the greater good no matter how minimal that assistance may seem.
Photo courtesy of nbcnews.com.