EDITORIAL — Caregivers need our continued support

Published 1:53 pm Saturday, January 16, 2021

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With Centra Southside Community Hospital experiencing a surge of COVID-19 patients and no relief for at least the next month or so, it is especially important for the community to not forget front-line health caregivers and essential nurses.

Back in the spring there were parades, ideas about how to help with child care and lots of concern about keeping these critical members of our society safe. Those people are even more important now as the pandemic has grown to new proportions.

Centra CEO Andy Mueller said the caregivers still receive items and words of support but mentioned in Centra’s Thursday, Jan. 7, press conference that it would be great if those efforts could be renewed as our essential workers face these daily challenges to save lives during the pandemic.

“If your kids are looking for something to draw or color, make a card for one of our caregivers,” Mueller said. “If you are in line behind one of them, pick up the price of their cup of coffee. If you see one somewhere, let them cut in line head of you. Our front-line caregivers are really stepping to the forefront for our community in an incredibly heroic and brave way. Anything that our community can continue to do to show their appreciation and support is really critical.”

These caregivers are tired. They have been fighting this battle since March. We may think we are tired of wearing a mask, washing our hands and not eating out. These front-line caregivers live with the virus day after day. They have seen deaths, they have felt the emotional and physical impacts of what will be more than a year-long battle against COVID-19.

“I just can’t say enough about our front-line caregivers,” Mueller said. “All that they’re doing, their heroism, their bravery, their courage, their tireless energy and their resiliency and determination to do everything they possibly can to care for everybody in our communities. And that’s true at all our facilities.”

Mueller said his staff is growing weary of the fight.

“The reality is, this is really starting to take a toll on all of them. They’re working hard, but they’re tired,” Mueller said. “We’re having to ask folks to pick up extra shifts. Folks are volunteering to work extra shifts. All of us are volunteering to work anywhere we can to try to help.”

The sad fact is health care workers are also dying as a result of the pandemic. So far, 3,148 health care workers have died as a result of the pandemic. Of those, 39 health care workers have died in Virginia.

With the vaccine going into arms at an increasing rate each day, there is an end approaching to this sad chapter in our nation’s history.

Our health care workers are the true champions of this pandemic. Let’s make sure they are all with us at the end when we celebrate the eradication of COVID-19. While they are still fighting the battle, let’s provide any aid we can, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.

(The views in this editorial are of The Charlotte Gazette editorial staff. This editorial was written by Editor Roger Watson. He can be reached at Editor@TheCharlotteGazette.com or (434) 808-0622.)