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Thank them for their service

EDITOR:

We have praised our military personnel as heroes, and indeed they are. They put their lives at risk to serve the greater good. There are other groups of heroes coming to light-healthcare workers now staffing our hospitals and clinics and the public servants and people who sell us food and medicine, and materials we need to live. These citizens put their health and lives at risk to serve the greater good.

This letter came about from an iPhone discussion between the writers. Clark asked Blasier to explain the risks faced by medical staff during this COVID-19 epidemic. Blasier spent his life in hospitals as an orthopedic surgeon, including Escanaba.

Medical care is being carried out by doctors, nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants, nurses, certified registered nurse anesthetists, certified nursing assistants, emergency medical technicians, transporters (formerly called orderlies), x-ray technicians, laboratory technicians, ward clerks, janitorial workers (who mop the floors and wash the walls), central supply, dietary aides (who deliver the food), cooks, maintenance workers (who fix broken equipment), and IT workers (who make sure that medical records are kept and electronic orders are executed). Without any two of the above categories, our hospital wouldn’t be able serve our community effectively. These professionals intentionally step between us and the virus. For that they are heroes.

For more about the work of medical professionals during this crisis, please see: https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/85585?xid=nl_mpt_SRPrimaryCare_2020-03-25&eun=g889985d0r&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=PCUpdate_032520&utm_term=NL_Spec_Primary_Care_Update_Active .

To date, at least 44 health workers in Italy have died from coronavirus. As of Feb 15, 2020, 3,400 Chinese healthcare workers have gotten the coronavirus, and 13 have died. The United States of America is lagging behind China and Italy on containing the disease, and it is extremely difficult to find up-to-date statistics about American healthcare workers. We do not have a reliable idea of the size of the risk to healthcare workers, but there is undoubtedly a daily risk.

We all salute them for their dedication and service. We should do our part by following guidelines and shelter in place orders. If we remain well, they will not need to confront COVID-19 in us. Also remember to thank them for their service.

Richard Clark

Escanaba

Ralph Blasier

Escanaba

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