An apology to frontline health care workers

Our country seems to be spiraling out of control. The unending political discord post-election continues to divide our citizenry. The Presidential election is over, accept the results, and move on. There are much more serious issues to have our full attention and among them is the war against COVID-19. This deadly contagion has claimed over a quarter of a million lives in the United States and shows no signs of slowing down. To those courageous individuals, the doctors, nurses, and their support staff who fight this virus daily, I offer my heartfelt apology on behalf of the American public.

I am sorry for the long hours you have worked since the start of 2020 to combat this disease.

I am sorry for your family’s separation you have had to endure to protect them from contracting this virus.

I am sorry that you had to wage this battle many times without the necessary protective equipment to keep you and your co-workers safe.

I am sorry that you are worried about the diminishing number of ICU rooms and ventilators available to give care to the COVID patient.

I am sorry that our federal government did not support your efforts but instead seemed to be undermining them by their laissez-faire attitude.

I am sorry that your physical and mental abilities have been stretched far beyond the limits of what any human being should have to endure.

I am sorry that you heard that people have said that this is all a hoax, a made-up scenario.

I am sorry for the frustration you have suffered when there is no more that can be done to save a patient.

I am sorry for the tears that were shed by you when you lose a patient.

I am sorry that you feel that the American public has ignored your cries for help by not following the guidelines to slow down the spread of  COVID.

I am sorry that you had to hear from others that the simple act of wearing a face mask is for them an inconvenience and an infringement of their so-called personal freedom.

I am sorry that there are selfish people in this world.

I am sorry that you have had to fight this battle short-staffed many times because of this virus claiming some of your colleagues.

I am sorry that you had to be the only one to hold your patient’s hand as he takes his final breath of life.

I am sorry that you had the responsibility of comforting family members when their loved one has passed due to this unforgiving killer.

I am sorry that you have to wait an unbearable period until a potential vaccine is made available to the general public, allowing this virus to continue to spread death and havoc.

I am sorry for the sleepless nights you have spent worrying about how many people will die on your next shift.

I am sorry for the fear you live in daily.

I am sorry for the unrelenting sadness you are experiencing.

I am sorry for your loss of hope that this time will pass.

I am sorry.

The following is an excerpt from the poem “Sorry” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox:

There is much in life that makes me sorry as I journey

down life’s way.

And I seem to see more pathos in poor human

lives each day.

I’m sorry for the strong brave men, who shield the weak

from harm,

But who, in their own troubled hours find no

protecting arm.

We will all try to do better, to be better. You will not stand alone in this battle. May the Creator lay His blessings upon you so that your spirit is bolstered and your courage is fortified. We will get through this.

Michele Luckenbaugh is a patient. 

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

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