Want to “Support Our Health Workers”? Here are Some Tangible Ways to Do So.

“I support our health workers.”

The above is a common refrain I’ve heard while the United States has grappled with the coronavirus.

I agree with the sentiment—I think our health workers should be supported. However, I also recognize that all too often, this refrain does not turn into action. Often, we say “support our health workers” but then act in ways that show anything but support for our health workers.

But how can we support our health workers? I propose a few suggestions:

  1. If you aren’t doing so already, wear a mask or some other protective face covering[1] and practice social distancing. These two actions are widely proven to contain the spread of the coronavirus. If people performed these two actions, we would keep our health workers from becoming overwhelmed with coronavirus patients.
  2. Assess the needs of the health workers where you live, and act accordingly. Speaking as someone who witnessed how difficult things were with the coronavirus in New York City, the needs of health workers were varied—at one point it included everything from equipment to food to funds for childcare. I can’t speak for what the needs are of health workers in places like Miami or Houston, but I strongly urge you to assess the needs of health workers where you live and act accordingly.
  3. If there are murmurs of a hospital closing down near where you live, do all you can (within reason) to protest the closure. There is a great deal of concern about the financial strain that many hospitals are experiencing as a result of the pandemic.[2] As such, there is also concern about the potential of hospitals closing. The closure of hospitals would put more strain on the hospitals that remain, and therefore the health workers who remain. As such, I urge readers to protest any proposed hospital closures in your area.
  4. Support legislative efforts to reduce the financial burdens that our health workers have. From current childcare costs to past student loan costs, there are a multitude of financial burdens that many of our health workers have to deal with. Given the stresses involved with trying to deal with the pandemic, we should try to minimize other sources of stress, such as financial burdens. This is where I would recommend actions such as urging your member of Congress to support legislation to forgive student loan debts for frontline health workers during COVID-19.[3]
  5. If you have a friend who is a health worker, listen to what they have to say. Don’t blow off your friend. Don’t minimize the experiences your friend had. Just listen to them.

These are just a handful of ways that you can support our health workers during COVID-19. Are there other ways we should consider supporting health workers? If so, please leave a comment below!


[1] I understand that some people have a difficult time with masks for health reasons. However, for many, there are other types of face covering, such as face shields, that may work better for you than a face mask.

[2] https://www.aha.org/guidesreports/2020-05-05-hospitals-and-health-systems-face-unprecedented-financial-pressures-due#:~:text=Hospitals%20face%20catastrophic%20financial%20challenges,of%20%2450.7%20billion%20per%20month.

[3] https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/116/hr6720

Addressing the Rise in Coronavirus Cases in Some States

Coronavirus cases are increasing at drastic rates in some states. Some people are alarmed with this rise in coronavirus cases, while other people (including some elected officials) downplay the increase in cases by saying out that there’s more coronavirus testing than before, and that because of more testing, there are more cases.

I’m here to say that there is reason for alarm in some places. But the reason for alarm is not because of the increase in coronavirus cases in many places, but because many places are struggling to adequately handle coronavirus cases so severe that urgent intervention is needed.

In places hard-hit by the coronavirus, the local health care systems get completely overwhelmed by coronavirus patients. In parts of Italy, the health care system got so overwhelmed that doctors had to make heart-wrenching decisions about who to try saving and who to let die.[1] In my hometown of New York, response times for emergency calls surged significantly at the height of the coronavirus, which in turn further endangered individuals already at risk.[2] In Alabama, fellow blogger Kim reported a few weeks ago that hospitals in Montgomery were so overwhelmed that they were needing to start sending patients to Birmingham, which is 90 miles away from Montgomery; this additional wait for treatment also further endangered individuals already at risk.[3] In places like these, the health care systems get so overwhelmed that lives are put at risk or worse—lives are lost. That is reason for alarm.

But, how is one to respond to the alarm? I have five words to say: wear masks and socially distance. People should do those two things, as much as possible. I know people want to give their friends a hug, and I know that the masks can feel hot during the summer, but this is not about you. It’s about others. Namely, it’s about saving others’ lives. It’s about making sure that our emergency responders, nurses, and doctors don’t get overwhelmed. It’s about making sure that the immunocompromised don’t catch the virus and end up seriously ill (or dead) because of irresponsible actions from others. If you don’t want to wear masks and socially distance for yourself, do it for others, because wearing a mask and practicing social distancing are the two best ways to do your part to limit the spread of this pandemic.

Note that I will not have a post next Monday because of the July 4th holiday the previous Saturday.


[1] https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200428-coronavirus-how-doctors-choose-who-lives-and-dies?ocid=global_future_rss

[2] https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/tracking-nycs-coronavirus-fight-from-911-call-to-er-door/2369206/

[3] https://cadburypom.wordpress.com/2020/05/22/family-fridays-9/

My Final Coronavirus Update From New York City (For Now, and Hopefully Forever): June 25, 2020

First of all, I want to apologize to my readers for a late post this evening. I was working a meeting related to where I work, and that meeting ended literally right before I started typing this. Hence, the delay in writing and publishing this post.

I should address the elephant in the room: the title of tonight’s post. I was thinking that I would continue these weekly update posts until we got to about mid-July, which would be a month or so into the reopening process in New York City. I wanted to wait to wind down this series until mid-July because I wanted to see whether the reopening process went safely in the city first. I said all of this in a post about a month ago.

However, a lot has changed in the past month.

Namely, there are now major hotspots emerging in states like Alabama, California, Washington, Florida, and Texas. In contrast, my home state, once the epicenter of the virus, is now one of only four states on track to contain the virus.[1]

This weekly update was created so that readers could get insight into what it was like to be living in a hotspot of this horrid pandemic. However, we are most certainly not a hotspot in New York–in fact, we’re likely one of the safest places to be in right now, from a COVID-19 standpoint. Given how much the situation is under control here, I’ve concluded that these weekly updates have run their course.

This is not to say that the pandemic is over, by any means. Far from it. The end of this series just means that the pandemic is under control enough in my area, at least for the time being, that I didn’t feel it was right to continue these weekly updates. Of course, if the dreaded second wave comes to New York, I would resume my weekly updates. I sincerely hope we don’t have a second wave, though.

Nor should anyone interpret the end of this series as a sign to stop practicing the mask-wearing and the social distancing, even if you live in New York. In fact, this series would be continuing for many weeks to come if not for the fact that so many New Yorkers were on board with wearing their masks and social distancing.

I want to thank all of you, my readers, for being a part of this journey by liking, commenting, and sharing these posts. It has been a wild and at times trying journey, but a journey that I am thankful to have survived in good health, and a journey that I’m glad I documented.


[1] https://covidactnow.org/state/NY?s=56971

Coronavirus Update From New York City: April 9, 2020

It’s hard to believe that it has been only three weeks since I started giving weekly updates on my blog on how I’m doing, and how my city (New York City) is doing with the coronavirus pandemic. So much has changed in that time, and so much will likely continue to change. Today’s coronavirus update post will focus on what has changed with me and with my city since last week’s update.

Everyone in my family is still healthy. Sure, some of us struggle with a little bit with allergies, but many people struggle with allergies this time of year. None of us are showing symptoms of the coronavirus, though, so we all count our blessings. While it has been quite jarring to see how just about every aspect of life, from how I interact with people to how I do my professional work, has changed, I remain glad that I am healthy. I do need to make sure to take breaks for the sake of my own mental health though, because both my professional work and my volunteer work is at times very focused on the coronavirus.

With the extra free time available to me during the pandemic, I’m not sure if I have gained any new skills, but I helped build a new website! Long story made short, an organization I volunteer for (Gray Panthers, who are focused on anti-ageism work) partnered with another organization to help build a resource website for seniors in New York City during the coronavirus crisis (which you can find here). I was one of the Gray Panthers who helped put together the website.

The news in New York is very much a mixed bag. Here’s the good, the maybe good, and the bad:

  1. One piece of news is that it appears that hospitalizations for the coronavirus are flat. This is good news because it means hospitalizations are no longer on a sharp rise. At the same time, I’ve heard rumors that the numbers might be misleading because the threshold for taking COVID-19 patients to the hospital is much higher now than it was even days ago. Please note that this is only a rumor I’ve heard, so do not promote this rumor unless you have a reputable source backing you up.
  2. Another piece of news is that it appears most people are taking the social distancing, the wearing of masks, and the suggestions to stay at home as much as possible seriously. Hopefully, people will continue taking all of this seriously. A few people don’t take this seriously, but at least where I am, those people seem to very much be in the minority. Also, since I have readers who might be celebrating Passover now or Easter over the weekend, let me say this: just because it’s a holiday doesn’t mean that we should be relaxing on the social distancing.
  3. In grim news, as of today (April 9th), New York State has over 7,000 deaths confirmed from the coronavirus. To put this into context, nearly 3,000 people died on 9/11…total (spread across multiple states). I am not saying this to lessen the significance of 9/11, but to instead show the magnitude of the crisis where I am. This number is likely to significantly increase in coming days, as New York had a record number of deaths from the coronavirus confirmed today.

So, that’s pretty much it for my update and my city’s update. How are you doing during this coronavirus, and how is your little corner of the world doing?