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Don’t expose health care workers to unnecessary hazards

We can all be grateful that the COVID-19 epidemic in our region is not as bad as in some parts of the country. Almost undoubtedly, our situation will grow worse, however.

If it does, our reliance on health care professionals will increase. So, while we all should be doing everything in our power to keep ourselves and loved ones safe, a special focus needs to be made on physicians, nurses, emergency medical technicians, pharmacy staff and the behind-the-scenes health care workers.

Many of the actions we should take in that regard amount to common sense. But in health care emergencies, that sometimes can be in short supply. And, of course, “social distancing” can become virtually impossible.

Do what you can, then. If you feel ill, whether you suspect COVID-19 or not, call ahead before you go to see a health care provider. Give them time to prepare for you — for your good as well as theirs. If a “telemedicine” service is available, think about using it.

Do what you can to ensure they have protective equipment. If, somehow, you have a stock of N-95 masks or protective outfits at home, get them to the people who need them most — health care providers. If anyone in your community is making such equipment from scratch, consider helping.

If you call an ambulance for someone, do not allow bystanders to crowd around the EMTs.

In short, use your head to safeguard the health care professionals. They are our superheroes because they are taking risks to save us. We simply must not expose them to hazards unnecessarily.

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