Message from Fr. Mike
October 24, 2021
FRONTLINE WORKERS—THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
St. Ambrose said; “No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.”
Meet Dr. Brad Cotton, 66, a doctor at Immediate Health Associate in the Columbus, Ohio, who enjoyed working on the frontlines as an emergency room doctor. Yet in March 2020, as the Corona Virus pandemic burst through the doors at hospitals across the world, Cotton left that more dangerous work behind.
What would you do if your job suddenly became much more dangerous? That’s the situation millions of healthcare workers who provide medical care to patients, including nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, EMTs, and many others found themselves. They have a markedly higher risk of becoming infected with the Corona Virus that causes COVID-19, especially if they are exposed to a high volume of sick patients (such as in the Emergency Room) or respiratory secretions (such as intensive care unit healthcare providers). The consequences could be fatal. Meet Dr, Sanjeey Sharma, 66, a consultant obstetrician at Formby who is legally blind after suffering a stroke when he was being treated for Covid-19.This is sometimes the fate of our frontline workers.
Outside of work, people who have healthcare jobs have the same pandemic-related stressors as everyone else. On top of these worries, come added challenges, including; worry that they may carry the COVID-19 coronavirus home and infect loved one, and unusually high and increasing demands to work longer hours as their colleagues become sick or are quarantined. When ICU beds, ventilators, or staffing prove inadequate to meet demand, some healthcare workers will have to make enormously distressing and difficult ethical decisions about which patients get lifesaving care and which do not.
Meet Dr. Timmy Cheng, an Irvine pulmonary and critical care specialist who treated several COVID-19 patients. He moved into his family’s garage, camping out in a tent to protect his family from the novel coronavirus. Our healthcare workers responded exceedingly well to this pandemic. They showed up. They put in long hours. There are remarkable stories of the lengths to which they will go in order to protect themselves and their families: doctors staying in the garage, hotels, or rental apartments rather than returning home to risk unwittingly infecting a family member; healthcare workers avoiding their small children when they come home until they can change out of their work clothes. There was a nurse who had given birth and decided to self-quarantine out of concern she might infect her newborn; she pumped breast milk and left it outside her door for her husband to feed to their baby.
These acts of bravery, commitment, and yes, heroism of our frontline responders throughout this crisis are the reason we are having these Masses of Thanksgiving for them. We are entering the Thanksgiving season and we want to be the first in line. The Masses of gratitude for our frontline workers are on the weekend of October 30th and 31st. We will bless them at all of the Masses on that weekend. In addition, we will have a special Pancake breakfast at 8 am and 10 am in Msgr. Crean Hall on Sunday, October 31st.
All are welcomed, Catholics and non-Catholics,
Fr. Mike Ume
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