While most of the country is being encouraged to stay home and wait out the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, for some, staying home is not an option. They are on the front lines – working in hospitals, nursing homes, retirement centers, law enforcement and firefighting agencies, ambulance services and other fields.
To offer them encouragement at this time, Bluebonnet News is encouraging local children and youths to send in artwork with messages of hope. The messages can be geared toward any of the workers in these fields or patients who are stuck in the hospital without their normal visits from family members and friends.
The artwork will be displayed on a Facebook page called Wishing for Wellness and can be downloaded by hospital and nursing home administrators and leaders of the first responder agencies to post on the walls of their facilities to boost the morale of their beleaguered staff, patients and residents.
“To know that the children and their families in our community are rooting for them and praying for them would mean the world to them,” said Patti Foster, CEO of Cleveland Emergency Hospital and Texas Emergency Hospital, both in Cleveland. “Our staff members at the hospital are tired and are working a lot of hours. They are worried about their own health, their children and family members’ health, and the community’s health. This will give them a little extra push they need to get through the next few weeks.”
Matt Thorton, CEO for Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center, agreed, adding that medical workers are risking their own health to help others.
“The healthcare workers, especially in the emergency room and EMS, are the most at risk for catching this virus. Nationally, the expectation is that we will see healthcare workers get ill with this. They know the risk and they still show up for work every day,” he said. “They chose this field because they have a compassion for helping people. We are in the midst of a pandemic and the risk is prevalent, especially for them.”
It has been a particularly lonely time for patients who are confined with other illnesses and nursing home residents as visitation has been restricted in an effort to prevent this already-vulnerable segment of the population from contracting the disease.
“It will do them good to know that someone from the outside is wishing them well, praying for them and showing them that they are appreciated. That’s what it is all about,” Foster said. “It’s going to mean the world to them.”
Thornton added that knowing someone cares about their welfare will give the patients an extra boost in their recovery.
“Their families can’t be right there with them to see them through their sickness, so it’s important to have that extra touch from the community. Just to know that someone else cares and is worried about them,” he said.
To participate, download a “get well” or “thank you” coloring page online, or create an original piece of artwork with crayons, colored pencils and paint. Take a photo of the artist holding the artwork and send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the artist’s name, age and hometown. The photos will be shared to Wishing for Wellness Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/Wishing-for-Wellness-108546010787088. Follow the page to keep up with all the submissions.