“Courage is found in unlikely places.” J.R.R. Tolkien
My office window overlooks the front entrance to the hospital. From here I see the comings and goings of patients and families, staff and physicians, students and volunteers, suppliers and couriers. It’s normally a very busy spot.
These days, the traffic is slower, more tentative. It’s quiet.
Last evening I happened to be gazing out when a car drove up. It was a staff member coming in for the night shift. More importantly, she is a mom. She jumped out of the driver’s seat and her daughter out of the passenger side. We’ve all done this quick change of drivers many times. Usually it is a rushed process so that the new driver can move along and out of the way of other traffic.
Not this night. Time stood still for a moment. Mom and daughter embraced. Not the quick peck on the cheek, “see you later” kind of hug that happens every day; but, the deep kind of hug you give saying goodbye to someone you love at the airport. Someone who you might not see again for a long time.
I don’t know what was whispered to each other at that moment but it moved me. I get it.
Right now, with COVID-19, every health care worker whether they are doctor, nurse, housekeeper or admitting clerk are exhibiting such courage. They are leaving their homes every day knowing that working in a hospital, working with patients, increases their risk of contracting the virus.
I see it in the eyes above the masks. More than themselves they are worried for their families.
To the public I say, please help us keep our healthcare workers and their families safe. This means everyone doing their part. Stay home. Tell others to stay home. We can all save lives if we practice what we’ve been repeatedly told.
Much will be written in the years to come about the courageous health care heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s make sure that history also acknowledges our communities who were courageous in ways that kept people from getting sick and needing hospital care.
At CKHA, we and the ones we love are depending on all of you. Please, help us.