Posts Tagged ‘healcare providers’

HEARTHEADED’S PERSON OF THE YEAR

December 14, 2020

You’re probably all aware of the flack Time Magazine received from both sides for selecting Biden/Harris as “Person of the Year.” Most of the critiques I’ve read declared front-line medical professionals and the scientists who developed the vaccines in record time as the most deserving of the title. To that I have one word: AMEN!

In the spirit of full disclosure, I do have a dog in this fight. My older daughter is currently working as a hospitalist, which places her in the line of fire. It’s also fair to give some perspective—most of the healthcare providers are young and healthy enough that contracting COVID-19, while unpleasant, will neither kill them nor result in lasting injury. That being said, it takes a quiet, understated courage to report to the front lines every day knowing this potentially serious, invisible, predatory miasma surrounds you, hoping to take you down. Those who haven’t faced this, can only imagine this additional weight on an already high-stress job, where working mainly with the sickest of those afflicted reinforces the psychological dread, and the reality of lives lost is manifest daily, rather than just as an intellectual exercise of mere words or statistics. Add to this the physical discomfort: Those of you who have worn a fitted N-95 mask for as little as an hour, much less an extended workday, can barely imagine the toll on these dedicated professionals. And my daughter never fails to remind me that the nurses have it the worst—they’re the ones in closest proximity to the patients continually throughout the day.

As for the developers of the vaccines, while they might not be on the front lines in the same way, their expertise, long hours, and dedication has enable them to leverage their skills to save millions of lives. And a shout-out should be made to the policies that permitted Operation Warp Speed to achieve its goal.

The practice of medicine has always been a battlefield of sorts. Although healthcare professionals have been deemed “heroes” in many venues at many time, the battle against mortality until now has only infrequently involved substantial person risk to the caregiver of injury or death. That’s no longer true. Heroes they are and will remain in the annals of history and in our hearts.