I spent nearly six hours in the Emergency Room on yesterday because of breathing difficullties, and I saw for myself the overworked conditions for nurses and doctors due to this pandemic. Thankfully, although I had a virus, it was not Covid, and after some medication was prescribed, I was sent home.
What was amazing was the sheer numbers of people in the place at noon on a weekday. The nurses and staff worked so diligently to care for everyone, doing triage to know who needed care faster than others. I admired their dedication and professionalism, but it was the little acts of kindness on their parts that touched my heart and reminded me to stop and say thank you for all that they do for the rest of us at this time.
I saw up close the fatigue on their faces, and the doctor who served me told me that the last two years have been like working full time in non-ending battle. And still he took the time to say to me, “Whatever you are doing or drinking, keep it up because you do not look seventy!” We laughed together, and I was thankful that in the moments when I was so afraid, he took time to calm my nerves and showed me that he saw my humanity.
I prayed for him and the whole staff of the hospital and for my fellow patients, some who were very ill and being admitted to the hospital when they could find a bed for them. My bed was in one of the hallways, as beds were placed whever they could manage it.
It is when we become one of the brothers and sisters that Jesus referred to as the least of them that we can appreciate that we all need help at some point in our lives. We must be willing to reach out to those less fortunate than ourselves and be of help where we can. It is the least that we can do, even if it’s just a smile and a pat on the arm to a scared lady who just wants to go home.