An Abundance of Potions

Day 5 – Helping the Helpers

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Today’s challenge: Reach out to a healthcare worker.

In the wake of tragedy, many find comfort in perennial advice from the late Fred Rogers:

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

The helpers, in this case, are the healthcare workers—the doctors and nurses—on the front lines, putting themselves in danger, for you and the ones you love.

But in the midst of crisis, you can do more than just look. You can help the helpers.

One way to help them is to stay at home, and keep your distance, as you have already been doing. Distance reduces the chance you will spread to others, who will need to go to the hospital. Through your caution, you are making the helpers’ lives less difficult, their jobs less dangerous.

Another way is to show your support publicly, as they are doing in France, and other parts of Europe—leaning out of windows, at the same time every evening, to clap. To sound gratitude into the streets.

Private gestures can be even more powerful. Search your life, past and present, for the hospital workers you know. Send them your prayers, if you pray. If not, a simple, “I’m thinking about you, and I’m sending you love,” can mean a great deal.

Know, also, that supplies are low. Hospitals are running out of masks, gowns, protective equipment. Many workers have young children, who are now, suddenly, out of school. So follow your words of love with an act of love—an offer:

“Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.”