Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

“Great”ful In 2020

Yes, I know that I spelled grateful incorrectly in my title.  That is why I put the word “great” in quotes.  I am grateful for the greatness that are our first responders and medical personnel.

I have countless friends involved as first responders, as nurses, doctors, and techs of various fields.

Though I have been involved in emergency situations that require assistance from first responders, I am not sure if if is something that I would be able to do on a daily basis.  I know that I have been on the receiving end, several times of being the victim of that 911 call, at least one time, at the most inconvenient of hours, early in the morning, like 4am early.  We see them on the news, daily, just doing their “job.”  Without a thought, they automatically, respond to calls involving car accidents, fires, falls, and thanks to 2020 and Covid19, putting their lives at even greater risk.

In Florida, it is common for all three first responders:  fire, ambulance, and police, to respond to a 911 call in preparedness to make sure all needs are met.  These people respond without reservation and without regard to their own safeties, all the while recognizing the dangers they are exposed to.

Then, there are the nurses, doctors, and techs.  The stories I have of what they have done for me over the years are endless.  Their lifestyles and work environments constantly played out on television series, does not serve them any justice for what it is really like for them.

From the patient’s point of view, I have witnessed their knowledge and skills.  I have seen their responses and their decision making ability.  As a patient, I have never seen someone show they are exhausted, physically or emotionally.  These people, are doing what they wanted to do, what they were meant to do.

These two groups, first responders and medical professionals, have one thing in common, they put their lives on the line every day for us.  To be clear, they do not have to.  They could easily choose a different career path.  They just do not.

So, when a once in a century emergency comes up, and we have to rely on these heroes, and we are asked to make the most simple of efforts, not because it will make the situation disappear, but prevent it from going out of control, we need to do what we can.

I have made no mistake in stating, mask wearing is not 100% effective in preventing Covid19, but it is nearly 100% effective in reducing the risk of spread.  I wrote a post on the various masks, and the efforts necessary to wear even the most effective mask properly, unlikely by the average person not trained to do so.

In the beginning, we were recommended, to just try, for three weeks to minimize contact and interactions.  Too many scoffed and here were are ten months later in worse shape than ever, in lives lost, lives impacted, and the economy.  Please, someone explain to me, how ignoring this pandemic for ten months, made more sense than trying to do something positive for the three weeks we were asked to do so.  Because it does not.

Most of us have no idea what it was like before the measles vaccine, and likely only our parents remember what it was like before the polio vaccine.  And not many were still alive during the last pandemic of 1918.

I am baffled.  When our country was attacked on 9/11, we ALL did what we had to, to protect ourselves.  It did not matter what political party we belonged to or ideology we believed in.  We made the sacrifices we needed to, to be safe.

We have now lost 100 times as many lives as 9/11, attacked by one of the most evil situations we have ever seen.  And yet, we are still split, fighting each other, to protect our political leans over what science has finally learned.  And as we do this, we continue to put those first responders and medical personnel at risk, not just of themselves being exposed to the virus, but taking it home to their families, perhaps they have children with compromised immune systems or other pre-existing situations, or elderly parents.

I get it.  We are tired, fatigued of Covid19 every day, the news never seeming to improve.  But it can, and it is improving.  We have the easy part, just do what we are being asked to do.  Those heroes that respond and take care of us are doing what should be the hardest part, but it seems like getting over our selfishness and arrogance is much more difficult.  And it should not be.  Our first responders and medical personnel have the most difficult part, taking care of us.

I have made it a point, every time I have been a patient, whether for a procedure, a test, or even just a consult, I appreciate everything my nurses, doctors, and techs do for me.  I have gone back and visited the first responders who have taken care of and transported me to the hospital, to let them know the difference that their effort made, and that there was a good result.

But as I continue to do all that I can, with what I have been asked to do, to avoid careless exposure to Covid19, I hope never to need any of you for this response.  And since I continue to keep this status, and I will not get to see you in person, I will just take the time here to tell you all that I appreciate and am grateful for everything you do.

Here’s hoping for a better year in 2021.

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