Judson Haims: Simple ’thank you for being here to help’ goes long way
Special to The Aspen Times
The holiday season is upon us and while many of us are saddened and frustrated that we are inhibited from being with friends and family, none are more so frustrated and down right awaiting a time that this is all over than our health care providers. A sincere and heartfelt thank-you is owed to all of you.
For most of those who plan to, or have already become, a part of our health care system, they do so because they have found a calling. Their passion and desire to keep those they love and those within their communities safe and healthy makes a difference in so many ways to so many lives. Nobody is of deserving of our gratitude as they are.
Regardless whether you believe COVID-19 is not real and that a scapegoat must take blame for the restrictions on our freedoms in addition to the financial and personal hardships or you are a person who believes in lockdowns, social distancing, wearing masks and consideration for the well-being of others will carry us through this difficult time, people are dying at alarming rates. Furthermore, it is irrefutable that our hospitals are reaching capacities. The COVID-19 pandemic is a health and economic crisis that should be cause for unity rather than division.
Our health care providers care little about politics while they work tirelessly to save lives. Ideological disputes and opinions about how the virus originated and the repercussions matter very little while they put in long hours and see little of their family. Our health care providers care about the health and well-being of their co-workers and our community at large — so should we.
It was only by the earnest effort and resilience of our local health care providers that we came out of this winter’s COVID pandemic with so few devastating and tragic loss of lives. It’s important that we recall that for much of the early onset of the pandemic our community was practically surmount in COVID cases. As we showed appreciation for our health care providers then, we must now as well.
We live in a unique community. So special is our community that as we have seen this past summer, people from all over descended upon our valley — and stayed for quite some time. Here, many took refuge from their home communities where shutdowns, imposed restrictions and elevated COVID caseloads were rampant.
Perhaps because of our community’s adherence and willingness to comply with recommendations about hand washing, social distancing and masks, we have done well to mitigate the spread of the deadly virus. While not without hardships, our collective caution has afforded much of our community to continue with business operations and for many of our schools to provide in-class education. For a community whose livelihood depends on tourism, hospitality and close interactions with others, we have fought to keep ourselves and our visitors safe.
Across our county, COVID-19 daily death rates are nearing the very worst days of April when, according to the CDC, there were five days with death tolls surpassing 2,500 people. With Thanksgiving now only a few days behind us, we will have to wait to see the potential ramifications from the estimated 50 million Americans who traveled.
In Colorado, data from the Department of Health show that almost every day of November has exceed 4,000 daily cases of COVID-19. Some people may believe that these numbers are only as high as they are because of the availability of testing. While this may very well be true, it is worth noting that the death toll in Colorado for the partial month of November has exceed 560 people, per the Colorado Department of Health, and closely nears the weekly totals of April.
Take a moment and recall the very worst week you have experienced both emotionally and physically. Can you recall the exhaustion and emotional fatigue? Whenever this time happened, were you able to see the precursors to the event(s) unfold over time, allowing anxiety to slowly elevate? Or, did the event(s) unfold before your very eyes leaving you in a state of calm or frantic panic? Should a similar event arise again, would you dig-in and choose to do it all over again? Would you avoid it at all costs?
COVID-19 case are rising again. For our health care providers, there is no turning their backs on the situation. With little reprieve and time to recover physically and emotionally from the traumatic events of this spring and summer, our providers will very soon have to relive perhaps some of their darkest and most emotional days.
When COVID-19 wreaked havoc on our valley earlier this year, our community showed extraordinary compassion. Once again, we must rise to the occasion and show our gratitude and compassion. Many of our providers need a boost. Please provide them with praise and acknowledgment. A simple, “Thank you for seeing me” or “I really appreciate you helping me and our community” can go a long way.
Our health care providers are getting ready to battle a formidable foe once again. Please take every precaution you can to keep yourself and others safe. Yes, wearing masks and social distancing are causing strife; however, without our compliance, our valley will get shut down, leaving many emotionally and financially broken.
Dr. Susan Bailey from the American Medical Association succinctly sums the totality of our situation quite well: “Failing to do our part will prolong the suffering and disruption to our lives and inevitably lead to more deaths of our friends, neighbors and loved ones.”
Judson Haims is the owner of Visiting Angels Home Care in Aspen, Basalt and Carbondale. He is an advocate for our elderly and is available to answer questions. His contact information is at visitingangels.com/comtns or 970-328-5526.