My husband is an emergency medicine physician and on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. He is 71 years old.
When I "signed up" to be his wife, I knew there would be many holidays we would not spend together. I knew there would be many nights he would not be in our bed. I knew there would be many family gatherings and rites of passage he would miss, along with the wonderful times that accompany them. I realize life doles out things we do not expect or anticipate — however, what I did not bargain for or ever think is that he would be on the front line of a worldwide pandemic without the proper equipment to do his job!
I think this is an atrocity and a colossal failing of our national government. Health care workers get up every morning (or evening), head to their jobs and put their lives on the line to heal, care and save people's lives. There is no viable or acceptable reason in the world they do not have what they need to do their jobs! This is the United States. We surely can make the masks and gowns that are needed and do so quickly. My husband and I have some third world medicine experience, so I have seen first hand the limited resources of other countries. Through these experiences, I always thought how fortunate we were to have the ingenuity, resources and the country that we do. I am beginning to rethink this.
Every morning when he leaves we give each other a virtual hug and every evening he comes home we have a "Clorox hour." I pray he wakes up well the next morning. In the event that is not the case, I wonder if he will make it through this.
Our health care workers need the equipment to do their jobs and stay safe so they can care for others, and they need it now! We, as a country, have the ingenuity and resources to make that happen.