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Small Acts of Kindness | 5 Ways to Say “Thank You” to Front-Line Healthcare Workers
As the impact of the COVID-19 public health crisis spreads, we are all experiencing major disruptions to the way we live our lives. As we socially isolate and maintain strict quarantine guidelines, our normal routines, aspirations and goals are put out of reach. We are all grappling with feelings of sadness, isolation and fear.
Every aspect of our society has been greatly impacted by this new reality, but for those designated “essential employees”—those deemed vital to the continuation of our day-to-day lives—the demands are even greater. Employees who work in food services and grocery stores, trucking, pharmacies, emergency services and many other industries are putting themselves on the line to maintain our supply chains and give us the resources we need at a critical moment in time.
Among those essential employees are front-line healthcare workers, who are striving to meet an influx of patients so heightened that it threatens to overload the healthcare system. They are dealing with shortages across the board; there aren’t enough personnel or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to keep them safe during this crisis.
As we read the headlines and watch the news, all of this can feel overwhelming, especially as many of us are stuck in our own homes under quarantine, unable to physically reach out and lend a hand.
Linkage employees, who are dispersed around the country but based out of Boston, MA, have been working remotely for weeks in accordance with the guidelines from the state of Massachusetts. During this time, members of our team have been sharing ways—small acts of kindness we can all do—to support our front-line healthcare workers.
We’ve compiled that list for you below, and we invite you to share more ways you are supporting the medical community on Twitter. Tag us and we will reshare your ideas to broaden their impact.
How to Say “Thank You” to Front-Line Healthcare Workers
1. Stay home and follow quarantine guidelines
Healthcare workers are putting themselves on the line—physically and mentally—every day to care for those in crisis. The single most important action we can take is to stay home whenever possible. Be aware of both federal and state guidelines around shelter in place, quarantine, and social distancing, and follow them. Every action you take and each interaction you have can have a real impact on the life of a neighbor, friend, or loved one, and increased rates of infection strain an already burdened healthcare system, staffed by tired and overworked healthcare workers. Identify only what is vitally necessary to care for both yourself and your family and stay home.
As many of us work from home in roles which afford us full access to our jobs via Zoom meeting or email, remember that many employees have jobs dependent on brick-and-mortar locations and cannot work at this time. Leaders should be especially aware of their privilege in times of crisis. How can you continue to support those who now cannot work?
2. Feed the Healthcare Heroes (MA and NH area)
Pressed Café, a healthy casual restaurant in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, has partnered with local area hospitals for a special program called “Feed the Healthcare Heroes.” Sponsor a breakfast, lunch, or dinner for doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals on the front lines at local hospitals. With every order, Pressed Café supplements the delivery with an additional meal. Many restaurants in your area are also offering their own promotions to help support healthcare workers.
Nationally, Uber and Sweetgreen have both announced plans to offer free meals to healthcare workers and first responders in the coming days. Sweetgreen allows you to submit your local hospital for free meal delivery.
3. Donate blood
The US Food and Drug Administration recently announced that there is currently an “urgent” need for blood, blood products, and plasma, because many blood donation drives have been canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus.
To help meet the demand, they have issued new blood donation eligibility guidance to broaden the number of people who are eligible to donate blood.
“Social distancing does not mean social disengagement,” US Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Thursday, addressing the issue in a briefing. “Maintaining our nation’s blood supply is always critical but especially now as donations drastically drop.”
In addition to the need for blood donations, the Red Cross is desperately seeking volunteers to assist with COVID-19 disease efforts, from delivering supplies to helping with blood drives, and there are even at-home volunteer opportunities available too.
4. Support local hospitals and healthcare systems
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy has created a COVID-19 Response Fund to support those affected by the virus, as well as first responders. You can monetarily help hospitals with supplies by making a donation to Direct Relief, which is helping to provide essential medical items and protective equipment to healthcare workers responding to the coronavirus.
5. Make your own masks at home
Have a sewing machine, or know someone who does? Personal protective equipment is in high demand at area hospitals, and you can contribute by sewing your own face masks for personal use or for distribution to a local hospital. Check out this video, which has been recommended by hospitals in New Hampshire. Please note that homemade masks are not as effective as N95 masks, which are the industry standard for PPE for medical professionals, and you should check with your local hospital first to see if they are able to accept homemade masks.
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