This article was originally published as an editorial for the Wichita Business Journal 2021 Health Care Heroes event.
Well, here we are. More than 18 months later.
If most of us are being honest, we aren’t so much surprised as disappointed, and even a bit deflated. In states across the nation, the number of pandemic-related hospitalizations has risen to or above pre-vaccine levels, and ICU bed availability status is critical. Some have only had mere moments of hope before the reality of our actions during this pandemic fueled its resurgence.
Make no mistake, as we trivialize masks and vaccines with reductive discourse, this pandemic claimed lives. While we go about debating and fighting each other, the healthcare profession has weathered multiple waves at great risk to themselves and with a great deal of sacrifice. Now it seems we will likely see another wave, again, and need dig even deeper, again, and just keep going.
More than ever, the term “health care heroes” proves to be more than just a clever alliteration. You are the ones continuing to respond to new coronavirus variants while still treating the myriad of other patient health concerns at the same time. You are the ones that hold hands and comfort those who are alone and scared. You are the ones that share your hearts in empathy. Day after day. Shift after shift.
We must change. And with change can come the opportunity for us all to echo your resilience and pursuit of innovation and join in the good work of caring for and loving each other with our sacrifice.
It is a privilege to celebrate the healthcare heroes in our midst every day. Your ability to keep serving, through all of this, is the epitome of heroics, and it blows us away.