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Posted December 23, 2020

Supporting healthcare heroes

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2020 has been a trying year in our communities, particularly for our healthcare workers. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a mental and emotional toll on the doctors, nurses, technicians, and other specialists who are on the front lines. Work shifts that reach 36 hours straight are not unheard of due to the volume of patients and the intensive care these patients need. With the holiday season upon us, it’s a timely opportunity to show them you care. So what can you do to support our healthcare heroes? 

Follow CDC guidelines

First and foremost, our healthcare workers will benefit greatly if you take steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in your community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a few easy ways to protect yourself and others, including: 

  • Wear a mask. 
  • Maintain a distance of six feet between yourself and others. 
  • Wash your hands. 

These simple steps will go a long way in reducing the demand these healthcare workers face each and every day. 

Thank them now, hug them later

Staying connected to our loved ones is more important than ever during the pandemic. That’s especially true with healthcare workers when you consider what they’re experiencing during the long hours they’re putting in each and every day to save lives. If you know someone working in the healthcare industry, reach out to them. Ask them how they’re doing. And, most importantly, just be there to listen. Let them guide the conversation.  

Arrange food delivery

Whether you know someone in healthcare or don’t, your community can organize (or may already have organized) ways to help them put food on the table. Preparing dinner may be a luxury they just don’t have time for right now. 

Pizza vs. Pandemic is one example of a campaign that emerged at the start of the pandemic as a way for you to send pizza to healthcare workers. And there are a variety of national programs to contribute to, in addition to local ones. Or, if you know a healthcare worker, send them a gift card to their favorite restaurant or send a meal on a night you know they need one. 

Note: If you are a healthcare worker yourself, many restaurants have stepped up to help you. Starbucks recently announced free coffee for healthcare workers and first responders. You can also find a list of deals here

Help out with errands/chores

Mow their lawn. Shovel their steps. If you know a healthcare worker, there are all sorts of outdoor errands and chores you can safely help with this time of year. If you know the worker well enough, surprise them with an act of kindness. If you don’t, offer to help. The act of donating your time to support our healthcare heroes will make you feel better too!

Donate blood

Months into the pandemic, blood supplies in many cities were at risk. For example, in October, New York City was experiencing chronic shortages of blood. Consider giving blood if you’re well enough to do so. The American Red Cross has outlined its approach and protocols for giving blood during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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