A healthcare worker dies from COVID. Does anybody notice? I tried to find out how many healthcare workers died from COVID so far. Even Google, who knows pretty much everything, can’t answer that question. The numbers of dead healthcare workers related to COVID isn’t tracked. And so, in some respects, the answer to the title question is, “No, people don’t notice.” But that’s not quite true. People do notice. Some people. Notice certain deaths. But at the same time, no one notices how many deaths.
We’ve reduced COVID deaths to a few seconds of statistics on the nightly news. Totally impersonal. And the numbers are so high that, believe it or not, we are numb to them.
Unless you watch FOX news. I haven’t been able to watch for about five years, but I can imagine what they say. Shawn Hannity. Tucker Carlson. Laura Ingraham. COVID is a hoax. COVID is nothing more than the flu. No big deal. The economy’s more important than the people. And so, FOX nation probably doesn’t notice when a healthcare worker dies of COVID.
And then there’s the people that think it’s their constitutional right to do whatever they want. Worse yet, the “god-given” right to pursue happiness. Yes – I put “god” in lower case. The God I know, love and worship would never go along with that kind of thinking. And so, they don’t notice when a healthcare worker dies of COVID either.
A healthcare worker gets sick or dies from COVID.
In spite of all that, as I said, when a healthcare worker dies from COVID, or even gets sick, someone does notice. Please, yes please, consider the cases below. They are real. I have personal experience with them, either directly or from a friend.
A healthcare worker goes to the hospital every day. She’s not assigned to the COVID wing. She’s not sick. But still, she’s worried, because others who aren’t part of the COVID wing either are still getting sick through contact with other doctors and nurses who do work in that area of the hospital.
A healthcare worker gets sick from COVID. She didn’t die. But she did have to quarantine.
Another healthcare worker gets sick from COVID. He died.
Yet another healthcare worker gets sent to another part of the state to help in an area where COVID has overwhelmed the local hospitals.
A healthcare worker dies from COVID. Does anybody notice?
When you want out to eat at a crowded restaurant, you probably didn’t think about that. And when you went to that party, you maybe didn’t even care. When you refuse to wear a mask, you’re maybe telling healthcare workers that you just plain don’t care about them. I could go on, but I hope you get the point. Of course, I also know full well that some of you are cursing me now. Denying everything I’m writing.
And yet – I know it’s true. I’m living it. It’s very sad. I lose sleep over it. But you know what? I’m not the one who notices the most.
No. The people who notice it the most are the spouses, children, and the loved ones of those healthcare workers who are dying. Getting sick. Quarantining.
I’ve been part of what’s called a food-chain, bringing food to the families who have loved ones in the situations described above. I see the families who’ve got a missing seat at the table, a healthcare worker who can’t come home. Maybe because you went to a party, in total disregard for the impact on her?
I hear the fear of someone who has a spouse in the healthcare field. Wondering whether they’ll come down with COVID. Maybe because you refuse to wear a mask?
I’ve spoken with a healthcare worker, afraid to walk the hallways or go to lunch at the hospital where she works, because of the fear of catching COVID from a coworker who didn’t quite decontaminate completely after seeing a COVID patient. Maybe because you insisted on going to a crowded indoor church service?
A healthcare worker dies from COVID. Do you notice?
So when you refuse to wear a mask, insist on going to a party, just have to go out to eat with friends, claim it’s your god-given right to attend an indoor church service, do you remember the healthcare workers who might die because of your actions?
I know people in other countries where COVID is very much under control. Wearing masks does work. Avoiding gatherings does work.
This virus could have so much less of an impact. If only we’d behave. It’s absolutely true. If we could get our heads out of the sand. If we could stop being so selfish. Or if we could just face the facts instead of listening to the talking heads on Fox News. If we could just wake up and use our God-given brains and God-given hearts. But we can’t seem to do that.
So here’s another approach. Be selfish. Yes, Be Selfish! Consider the fact that you might have cancer, as I do. Imagine you need surgery for brain cancer, as does a friend of mine. Or imagine a relative of yours is found to have cancer, has an operation where it’s found to be inoperable after surgery has begun, and needs further treatment, as has a relative of mine. Imagine you know healthcare workers. Even if you don’t, pretend your best friend, your spouse, your kids, are healthcare workers.
And in the ultimate selfish act, consider the possibility that you need emergency surgery. You’re going to need a bed in a hospital. And a spot in the emergency room schedule. And one or more doctors. Plus some nurses. What if those things aren’t available to you, because the hospital is overwhelmed with COVID cases?
Tell me. Was that party, that large dinner, that indoor church service, that refusal to wear a mask – was it all really worth it?