For the past three months, I have stood by and watched my two moms endure the most draining cycle of their lives, every single day as healthcare workers.
My mum, Angela, works overnights and double shifts, as she x-rays and comes in close contact with suspected and positive cases of the virus. My other mom, Patricia, works long days during the week, sometimes more than 12 hours each day, as she manages the cleaning department at the hospital during this pandemic.
But I’m not even sure the work is what wears on my two greatest role models – the two women who have worked this hard throughout their entire lives to make a life for our family.
What I see is the showers they have to take two to three times a day and the extra laundry they have to wash separately from mine to prevent cross-contamination.
I see them bag up their work shoes and keep them in their car, not daring to bring any of the possible germs in the house.
I see my mum Angela disappointed at the store when no one will wear a mask, yet she wears another one after being suffocated all day by an N-95 with a shield made out of x-ray film over it.
I see my other mom Patricia watching the news, seeing the world open up again while the hospital is still drowning in cases.
They see this virus firsthand every day, and I see it through their eyes. And what I see most of all, is fear.
Back in March, I posted on my personal Facebook page asking all of my friends and family members to stay home for the sake of healthcare and essential workers everywhere. I had expressed my love for these two strong and amazing women in my life, labeling them as my heroes and my role models.
So, as the daughter of not one, but two healthcare workers, I am extending this request to all of you – asking you to remember that this virus is still very real, to exercise caution as you venture out into the opening country and to never forget the healthcare heroes who are still working overtime to contain COVID-19 and to prevent a second surge from occurring. They can’t do their job if you don’t think of them every time you leave the house.
It’s the simple things, such as bringing a mask everywhere you go, perhaps keeping one with some hand sanitizer in your car. It’s maintaining social distancing until the day we are told we no longer need to. It’s staying home if you feel sick and getting tested if need be.
These little things are what will allow us to go back to campus in the fall and be able to return to some sense of normalcy in the near future.
And when this is all over, remember to not take these hospital workers for granted ever again, because they are, as this virus has proved, essential to our health and safety.