By Dr. Michele Dikkers, Physician at Cornerstone Family Practice and GMHC, Chair of Clayton County Board of Health
“It takes all kinds to make the world go around.” We have heard that adage ever since we were young. One has to admit that the world would be awful boring if we were all the same. We can’t all have blue eyes, like kale or jazz music. Variety is the spice of life!
We all need each other. We are all essential. Someone to grow the food, cook the food, sell the food. Someone to cut down the tree, process the wood, someone to build the house. Someone to build automobiles, sell automobiles, fix automobiles. Someone to teach the children, care for the children. Someone to stock the shelves, clean the floors and staff the check outs.
In the past five months we have become aware of all of the people that have been important in keeping all of us functional while we have been staying at home. There are the truck drivers, workers in warehouses, mail delivery personnel. Stores that have been flexible enough to respond to the need for mail orders, keeping them and us a float.
We call them essential workers.
We have heard a lot over the past five months about the hero’s we have in the healthcare workers. The workers in the hospitals, doctor’s offices and clinics. Those that manage and organize the hospitals and clinics.
Those that are working diligently to come up with treatment options that are effective, those that are working on vaccines, those that are doing day to day care of patients in the hospital, intensive care units, emergency rooms and the crews in the ambulances.
And…there are those that have been staying at home, self isolating and avoiding spreading the virus to others. Those that have been wearing masks to protect themselves and others. By wearing the masks and physically distancing in the early stages of the pandemic a real difference was made in slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Now that the state has opened up and people are interacting more often and in larger groups, the numbers have started to climb. Wearing a mask can slow this down. It can drop our numbers, making it safer for students to return to school, safer for them to visit their grandparents and safer for all of us.
No one sets out to get sick. No one intends on spreading the illness. Wearing a mask can prevent both.
You don’t have to be a healthcare worker to be a hero. You don’t have to be an essential worker to be a hero.
You can be a hero by wearing a mask. Save a life, wear a mask, be a hero.
We are in this together.