I want to express my admiration for our health care professionals – doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, respiratory therapists, radiology technicians, pharmacists, infection control practitioners, laboratory technologists, nursing and medical assistants and everyone else involved in caring for our patients, as well as those who make it possible for them to provide that care – environmental services workers, supply chain professionals, food service workers, security, health care leaders, those who serve as reception and registration staff, and everyone else who contributes to the operations of our urgent care centers, emergency departments and hospitals.
Think about how scared you have been hearing about the sickness and death caused by this pandemic. Now imagine caring for these patients, seeing the shocking rapid deterioration of a patient in his or her 30s or 40s who was talking to you yesterday, but sedated and paralyzed on a ventilator today. Think about being that nurse, alone with a patient, holding their hand as the patient takes his or her last breath.
Health care professionals are scared too. We are scared when we don’t totally understand a communicable disease and aren’t convinced we have the ability to prevent ourselves from becoming infected. It doesn’t help when we hear about our colleagues who have been infected or died, or in dreadful situations, where we have to put a breathing tube into someone we were working along side just last week.
Though we get scared too, I have never known of a situation where one of us did not come to work willing to take the chance that we might become sick, because, like law enforcement and first responders, it is our calling, our duty, and our passion to care for others. More often, what wears on us is not the concern that we might become ill, or perhaps even die, it is the concern for our families – that we might inadvertently bring this disease home to one of our family members. That is far worse in our minds.
So, I want to take this opportunity to tell all those who show up to work at urgent care centers and hospitals in the midst of this pandemic – you inspire me. I am extremely proud of you, and I can never thank you enough for your courage, your dedication and your talents. I pray for your health and safety every day.
President Trump was right – we are fighting a war against an invisible enemy – the novel coronavirus. In this case our health care professionals are the soldiers in this fight. Therefore, I ask the President to provide recognition to health care workers who die of this disease during their courageous service to win this war in a manner analogous to how we honor fallen soldiers. And, when we do win this war, I would ask the President’s consideration of a national day of celebrating our health care heroes and honoring the memory of those health care workers who give their own lives to save the lives of others.
God bless all these brave men and women.