Reflection: The Toll of COVID-19: What We Do Matters
I want to share a story about a man who met and fought with COVID-19.
He was born into simple farming family, strong Swedish stock, speaking his native tongue growing up in Minnesota. He knew the value of hard work, love for family, treating others with respect and decency, always with a positive attitude and never a complaint. He knew and loved his God and served Him faithfully.
He was a patriot, serving in the navy in WW II, aboard an aircraft carrier, barely surviving a Kamikaze attack. He later received a letter of commendation from a US President. He loved our country and the flag.
He loved his family, married for a total of 72years, having survived his first wife, he remarried for another 18 years with a strong family and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
He loved life and lived with vigor, spent his career in sales and knew the challenges of success and failure. He was always open to an adventure and was found water skiing and riding the zip line into his 90s. Even then, he would be the one to help the elderly, younger than himself, and meet their needs and serve freely. Age and time would take its toll and his strength would wane and begin to fail and would be well cared for by loving nurses.
One day, though he was protected, he was found by a virus. He did not understand what this COVID -19 was, a disease no one even knew of a few short months before. He was positive; “I am doing fine” was his reply. Yet, it took its due and his life. He passed away peacefully on July 27, 2020. He was 97. He was my dad.
What we do as healthcare givers and leaders matter. We labor to understand and make hard decisions in times of great uncertainty and anxiety, as we fight this disease and others. We seek to protect our own caregivers, our patients, our families, and our community, with evidence which evolves as fast as lightning. Yet we strive, and we must. Every one of the over 150,000 souls who have passed on, just in the U.S., was loved as a parent, a child, brother or sister or a beloved spouse.
What you do every day makes a difference and is a role unique to you. By Gods grace, you are called to serve and you are called to lead. Take heart and know that, without you in this ministry, there would be less light, less joy, and that much less hope for a bright tomorrow for those we care for.
Greg Anderson MD Lexington, KY