This week I will be writing thank you notes inspired during the solitude a pandemic brings.
Dear Nurses, Doctors, Lab Technicians, EMT’s, Hospital Workers,
I’ve waited until the end of the week to write a thank you note to the medical heroes who have served us during the Pandemic, not because you are less deserving, but because I really can’t find the words to do it justice.
I’ll confess that in my earlier professional life, I was a nurse for ten years. I always worked in the community, rather than on the front lines in a hospital. It takes a very special person to work with acutely ill persons. I am not made of that stuff and have the utmost respect and admiration for those who do even in the “old normal,” as opposed to the “new normal” we are looking to enter.
Most of us witnessed the accounts of doctors and nurses describing the challenges of being thrown into the coronavirus crisis with little warning. How they managed to report for work day after day for shifts that are long even under normal circumstances is unimaginable to me. Leaving your own loved ones to give direct care to people who have a highly communicable illness, knowing you could become ill and die, as many did, takes extraordinary courage and commitment. Health care workers have always witnessed death, but now are asked not only to care for the dying and comfort their families; they have become surrogate next of kin. I cannot imagine absorbing all of the pain and suffering each day as the numbers of dying patients grew exponentially.
We didn’t see as much coverage of the people who work within the medical professions in a supporting, yet essential role. The workers who keep the hospital sanitary, provide clean linens, cook the food to feed the patients and staff, transport patients to and from various hospital departments, including unfortunately to the morgue in a hideous number of cases, are also heroes without whom direct care could not be provided.
We see fatigue and loss that may never be erased in the faces of those in the medical profession who have served us as a nation while we are under siege by a virus that will not go away. We long to comfort and support you, as you have for us and our families. We grieve for those medical professionals who have been lost and send our love and gratitude to their families, hoping we can offer a measure of what has been selflessly given to us.
C. Michele Dorsey