There was once a time when, in the moments of war, our brothers and sisters left our safe homes and neighborhoods, and fought a vicious enemy in a faraway land. And for those who kept the homefront going while their loved ones were away, their homes were adorned with flags like these. Blue stars, representing those who were away in battle. Sometimes there were gold stars on the flag – for those whose family members died in battle.
Make no mistake, we are in a new war today. But the warriors are not battle-tested military; this time, they’re civilians. Doctors and nurses and health care workers. They’re currently on the frontlines of a war against an enemy that does not believe in surrender or negotiation or retreat.
And for every doctor or nurse or paramedic or EMT or health care worker out there, there’s a father. A mother. A brother. A sister. A husband. A wife. Sometimes more than one description fits that same person.
We all know someone on the front lines right now. And we know what they’re doing to try to brace up against the wave of destruction caused by COVID-19. They’re working monstrous, unenviable shifts. They’re recycling surgical gowns and masks and face shields. And they have to balance all this work with trying to keep the disease away from their loved ones.
And they know that they must keep up this pace – both physically and mentally – not just for themselves, but for all the patients – as well as for their families.
And those families also have a lot to do. They’re trying to keep the home safe. Scrubbed down to the fragrant smell of Clorox. Disinfected every possible way. Coordinating food deliveries and home schooling and work from home chores.
What I’m saying is – while we all must do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19, the doctors and nurses and health care professionals are right on the front lines. And when they get fatigued and when they get stressed … they know they have to continue. COVID-19 doesn’t understand what fatigue is. So they press on.
We can do so much to help our doctors and nurses in times of need. Keep ourselves healthy, for one. Respect CDC guidelines of social distancing and cleanliness.
If you’re able, give a few dollars to grass-roots organizations like Frontline Friends, an organization “to support our first responders and medical professionals during this pandemic. It is impossible to give proper thanks, but we can send some food!”
And by all means, thank the doctors and nurses and health care workers when you can. And thank their families for supporting as well.
It’s their loved ones that are staring into the gaze of the beast right now.
Let’s stand with them for as long as it takes.
Until every blue star family welcomes their blue stars home again.