• August 11, 2020

CATES:Heroes revisited during COVID-19 - Odessa American: Health

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CATES:Heroes revisited during COVID-19

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Posted: Monday, July 13, 2020 6:45 am

COVID-19 cases in Texas are spiking, and the news is again full of stories of hospitals again becoming overwhelmed in cities not just in the Northeast now, but even here in Texas. Despite those headlines, and the headlines here in the Permian Basin of our cases on the rapidly rising as well, every day the doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, lab technicians, housekeepers, dietary folks, and so many others continue to show up at the hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities every day. I am in awe of the dedication these folks show to their community. Add to that the amazing people we have working for Odessa Fire Rescue and all of the other first responders and they too keep showing up for work every day despite the things they see and experience with not just COVID-19 but with other diseases and illnesses, traumas, and tragedies.

I wrote a similar tale many weeks ago and talked about the sacrifices that health care workers and first responders make for this community. I said at the time, this will be one of the shortest articles I have written. This one will be the same. It is a whole lot of thank you’s. First and foremost I want to say thank you to everyone who lays hands on people when they are ill. It is true during COVID, but it is equally true every day of the week. COVID isn’t the only thing you risk exposure to every day: flu, tuberculosis, HIV, Hepatitis, meningitis just to name a few. Thank you for putting others’ lives ahead of your own. It is an honor to work with that sort of person every single day. Thank you to those who make the work of those people laying hands on patients possible. The housekeepers, dietary folks, admitting folks, maintenance folks, accounting folks and too many others I cannot begin to name. You too, expose yourselves to risk—and put others before yourself. I want to say thank you to the medics, firefighters, and other first responders who walk into homes to get those who are ill and trauma scenes for those who are injured, not knowing if what was reported is what they will find, and despite the risks doing it anyway. We do have superheroes in this world. They are people who put others’ lives ahead of their own.

Finally, I want to say Thank You to those people out in the community. I am always so proud to call the Permian Basin my home—and the people who make up this community are why. Thank you for wearing masks, social distancing and washing your hands. I know masks in particular not comfortable in the West Texas heat and I know there it has raised debate about personal freedom versus big government. Yet, so many people are doing it because it’s the right thing to do to help our community—as West Texans are so good about doing. Thank you for that. Thank you for the continued support of health care workers—businesses even though the economy is struggling are sending food, PPE, lotions, hand sanitizer, all sorts of things to pamper and protect. People are praying for us on a daily basis. The acts of kindness have been far too numerous to count. Your kindness will never be forgotten.

In a Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. I think we can say that about Odessa right now. With COVID, the economy and the drop in oil prices, and everything else going on in our community and the nation, it is certainly the worst of times. But in our strength as a community, we in West Texas are showing how strong we are—in that it is the best of times.

Odessa, TX

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