Last responders face many dangers in pandemic
MARCIA TETTERTON. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, VIRGINIA ASSOCIATION FOR HOME CARE AND HOSPICE.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been much focus on our front-line responders, including emergency medical responders, police and firefighters, health care workers, bus drivers, grocery store employees and the like. They are receiving hard-earned recognition for the jobs they must perform for the public while exposing themselves to possible COVID-19 infection. Also facing daily exposure during the pandemic are the people who work in the funeral service industry and those at the Virginia Medical Examiner’s Office, who interact, manipulate and open bodies infected with the coronavirus as part of their day-to-day jobs. These folks are putting their lives on the line in order to respectfully process and make final disposition of the contaminated remains of COVID-19 decedents.
Medical examiner employees and funeral service workers go to work every day knowing that they will interact with deceased patients who still are infectious. There have been reports of a medical examiner who contracted the coronavirus from a deceased COVID-19 patient.
It is time these workers receive recognition for their dangerous work. I applaud them for their dedication, compassion and fearless attention to their hard and often unappreciated jobs. God bless our front-line workers and our last responders. They all deserve recognition.
FORMER CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA.
NEW KENT. to the Correspondent of the Day letter from Thomas Cox. Petersen cites the very low incidences of hospitalizations of youngsters as an argument for opening schools in the fall, regardless of the pandemic situation. Cox, on the other hand, reminds us of the “shared sacrifices of a global community.” Cox writes, “It is hard not to compare it to the coronavirus pandemic war, and the view of so many that individuals rights and freedom are more important than shared sacrifice in a time of need.” I don’t think the senator knows it is not the extremely low rate of illness in youths that is relevant. It is their high propensity to spread the disease to the general public that calls for the sacrifice. use of time if our legislators found ways to amend the state constitution to take present-day realities in mind, before they issue a mandate that could endanger the lives of our students, our education professionals and staff, and their families.