While many of us are social distancing during this global pandemic, our healthcare workers and first responders are out there on the front lines fighting to rescue as many people as they possibly can.
It's taken a toll on many of them — witnessing patients die left and right in the absence of friends and family, falling ill themselves and watching colleagues fall ill due to constant exposure and lack of PPE, and being away from their own families to save other families.
It's difficult to truly understand what it's like for those on the front lines unless we're in their shoes. As a college student, I cannot imagine the physical and emotional strength it takes to get through even a day in the hospitals. When I sit at my desk in the mornings waiting for my online lecture to begin and look out the window to what seems like a beautiful spring day (ironically, we've been having many of those lately), it's hard to believe that we are in the middle of a crisis. Sometimes, I even forget that the virus is still out there.
To gain a sense of reality, I've been trying to keep up with the news lately. I've seen Facebook posts about my old high school teachers who cook food and deliver it to the healthcare workers at hospitals. I've learned that the chemistry department at my school created their own hand sanitizer for the university hospital. I've read up on how 3-D printers can be used to create face masks and face shields. Despite many of us not being on the front lines, the idea of using the resources that are available to us and being both creative and innovative with them has allowed me to gain a newfound respect for humanity.
During a time of crisis, it's truly amazing how people come together and unite efforts in order to achieve a common goal that ties us together.
No one knows when this will end or even if it will truly end, but I want to thank all of those on the front lines and those supporting the front lines. Your determination, hard work, and selflessness will be honored and remembered for years to come. You've left an impact on me and many others.