Not everyone is off work during Stay Home, Stay Safe! Some workers, performing what the State of Michigan considers “essential” functions, have been going to work day in and day out since the Michigan quarantine began on March 19.
Among these essential workers, our local healthcare workers have to be considered among the most prominent employees providing essential services during COVID-19.
So today, we’re encouraging everyone to salute our healthcare front-liners!
From EMTs to intake and administrative personnel, from ER staff to doctors and nurses working their regular hospital shifts, and from security to dietary to housekeeping staff, healthcare workers are more essential during this health crisis than ever before.
On the front lines in the battle against COVID-19 every day, healthcare workers put their own health at risk more than any other population of workers – all in their efforts to treat those of us who get ill, and keep the rest of us safe.
Can you imagine how they feel?
Try this: think about how you feel when you do something as simple grocery shopping these days … you may not be outright afraid, but there’s likely a bit of fear that you may inadvertently be exposed to COVID-19 during your shopping trip. It is, at the very least, unsettling.
Now take that uneasy feeling and multiply it by 1000, with 100 percent certainty that the virus is confirmed in your surroundings, and stay in that environment for 12 to 16 hours a day, several days a week, providing critical assistance to people from whom you know you could catch it.
That might give you an idea what our healthcare front-liners face every day.
Don’t get us wrong: we appreciate the risks all essential workers take to provide us with the things necessary to sustain our lives. Grocery workers; workers in retail stores that provide essential products and services; restaurant employees that go in to provide to-go meals; gas station attendants; postal workers, transporters, and delivery people; farmers who never take a day off to keep us supplied with clean, safe, wholesome nutrition … everyone is doing their part, and everyone is appreciated!
But right now, it’s our front-line healthcare workers who most deserve all the support we can give them. And we’re encouraging you to show your support however you can:
- Send up good thoughts for strength, courage, and safety for our local healthcare workers
- If you see someone in hospital employee attire somewhere like the gas station or grocery store, keep a safe distance while extending your thanks for what they are doing
- If you have thank you cards on hand, write a general note of thanks to hospital staff and tuck it in the mail – they will love knowing others are thinking of them!
- If you’re handy, consider making headbands or ribbon backers with buttons; they’re both used to give workers’ ears a break from the pain of the elastic on their masks – something which will be truly appreciated!
- If you can sew, check the hours of your local fabric store and see if they provide face mask patterns, bags of fabric, and elastic free of charge; or check out this free pattern you can download if you already have materials at home: face mask pattern.
- Bring your completed facemasks or ear-savers to CCBD, or give them to your CCBD delivery driver – we’ll make sure they get to healthcare workers.
- Reduce the burden on healthcare workers by continuing your own safe practices, including:
- washing your hands frequently
- maintaining social distances
- not going out in public unless it’s really necessary
- wearing your own nose and mouth cover to protect others when you’re out in public
- not touching your face until after you’ve sanitized your hands if you’ve been out in public
Let’s face it: the fewer sick people there are, the better it is for everyone – including our healthcare workers!
So keep doing your part, and keep our healthcare workers foremost in your thoughts as we navigate another week of Stay Safe, Stay Home.
Can you think of other ways to show support for our healthcare and other essential workers? Let us know by sharing your ideas on our Facebook or Instagram pages!