Who do you think of when you think of who the first responders are? Do you think it’s the police? Maybe. What about the Fire Department? How about the EMS workers? Every person who deals with the medical community on every level is a first responder. Even the hospitality team is a first responder. If they didn’t ensure that the supplies and rooms were immaculate and clean, we would become exposed to more of the virus than we anticipated. I know of many men and women who are fighting to keep us all safe from COVID. These men and women are on every front.
My friends on the police force are having a battle on their hands within the community. They are fighting a perception that has long become ignored of racism and profiling. People have expectations that police will keep us safe, and when something happens to threaten that perception, the law has to prove why they handled situations the way they did. It’s not an easy spectrum to evaluate.
Then the firefighters are among some of the bravest men and women to help others. They risk their lives in dangerous scenarios dealing with fires and chemical spills. Their job is demanding. They are on call 24/7. They are among the front lines that assist the community when the danger exists. The mental exhaustion is real. These men and women have seen scenarios that most of us can not begin to fathom. They could tell you stories that would make your heart sink as well as soar. The perception is that they spend their time rescuing animals out of a tree, but their job is much more intense than what you may think. It’s about using skills to save lives. Assisting with car accidents, helping neighbors with all kinds of medical issues, and staying up to date with medical breakthroughs. Firefighting, police officers, paramedics, nurses, doctors, and technicians all have one denominator in common. They choose to help keep us healthy and safe.
For a very long time, I detested physicians. The ones I knew had a God complex. I judged them based on perception. They tend to make more money than many people, but their skill set is higher, and their responsibilities are astronomical. Many of them have practices that employ staff, and they have medical expenses that they must pay. I’ve known quite a few physicians who treated people like they were better than the average person. Not once did I stop to think about why they acted the way they did. It’s only been in the last few years that I began to see things differently. Our physicians are the face of what we blamed when diagnoses were wrong. A majority of physicians genuinely care for their patients. They don’t like to lose a patient due to illness any more than the rest of us, like getting sick or dying. Covid has challenged every front-line caregiver in ways that none of us expected. Nurses can’t give the same type of care they used to. Everyone is taking measures to protect themselves with masks and gloves.
Many people are not acknowledged. The technicians who run the XRAY and MRI machines provide imperative services. Ultrasound technicians and respiratory technicians are among many people who don’t get the credit for helping people get healthier. The truth is that the medical community faces challenges daily that most of us never hear. It’s not about what occupation is the best. It’s about being grateful for the skills they share with the world. Nursing assistants have often become overlooked as well as Certified Medical Assistants. While I don’t want to take anything away from the doctors and nurses, never forget that it takes a team of people to help us get better. That includes the pharmacy team. They are on the front lines by helping each of us get the medication we need to become dispensed.
If you know a first responder, thank them for looking out for everyone. It’s a mentally taxing responsibility but one that is rewarding for these individuals. It takes special people to have the mindset of keeping us safe and healthy. If you see one of them in a coffee shop, you might buy them a cup of coffee or make a nice gesture for them. These individuals are working harder than ever to make the world a better and safer place. To all of them, thank you. Words may be meaningless on certain levels, but your acts of kindness and generosity break stereotypes on what kinds of issues you all face. The world is a healthier place because people like our first responders teach us that it’s imperative to respond. After all, if they didn’t, our lives wouldn’t continue to thrive but instead, meet with the alternative and die. It’s through their example that we will get through this crisis more vigorously than ever.