I work in healthcare. I still have to go to work despite all that is going on in the world. Things are getting worse and worse every day, but the doctors, nurses, aides, and people within the hospital and healthcare system are here to fight for you. Social distancing seems like a simple concept to people, yet many are still not practicing it. Why? You see on the news all these doctors and medical professionals preaching the severity of COVID-19 and the benefits of staying home and then you see a segment about those in their 20’s who do not care and are out partying. Google what is happening in Europe and Asia; things are getting better slowly, but they are getting better because of the precautions the countries are taking. There are videos circulating on people in the intensive care units (ICU) that are attached to so many machines -- ventilators, oxygen support, and they are fighting for their lives. These people are someone’s grandparents, spouse, family member, or friend. Why do we still think this is not a big deal? It is a big deal. As a worker in healthcare, I care about every person that steps into my hospital no matter the scenario. I am sacrificing my own personal health to take care of your loved ones and I am okay with that, I chose that career and I would not change a thing. That being said, even though I am okay with my choice to do my part in saving lives, that does not mean that I am okay with otherwise healthy people only caring about themselves. It does not matter if you are prepared to fight the virus and you are healthy, it is not about you. Social distancing isn’t about you. It’s about the people who are going to suffer the hardest if they get hit with this. You might be prepared for this, I might be prepared for this, but the people who are immunocompromised, elderly or simply don’t have the access or means to handle a pandemic of this magnitude will not be. We need to come together as a nation and take the appropriate precautions no matter our health status. I know people who are scared to death of this virus and this pandemic. I see people on the news panic buying food and toilet paper followed by pictures of elderly people scouring for food to help them survive. Now is not the time to panic, it is the time to be responsible and think about what is not only best for you and your family, but for your neighbors and community. Get what you need and allow others who are not as quick to the stores the opportunity to get what they need too. I sympathize with people whose graduations are getting cancelled, whose senior years of school are getting cut short, those who cannot see their elderly family members due to this pandemic, and those who are suffering. We need to band together and fight this. Eventually we will see the light again. We will be able to go out with friends, food supplies will return to surplus, and things will go back to normal. This is just a break in the normal activities of day to day life; it's an extended pause that is allowing us to cherish time with our families and spend time self-reflecting. We need to stay inside, listen to healthcare professionals and scientists, and practice compassion for others. Follow what the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends: practice appropriate hand hygiene, cover your coughs and sneezes into your arm, stay home if you are sick, and try your best to avoid exposure to the virus. ****
****These opinions are solely my own and do not represent the opinions of other healthcare professionals within the healthcare community.
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