As vaccines become more widely available, the end of lockdowns and quarantining is on the horizon. For Los Angeles County, in particular, officials are reporting substantial progress in curbing the spread of COVID-19. The county recently moved to the orange tier of California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, indicating that there is now a moderate risk of COVID-19 in the county rather than a substantial risk. The test positivity rate in LA County is trending downwards, and there are far fewer outbreaks in schools and workplaces as the population becomes vaccinated. Though the county has made much progress, frontline workers are still fighting COVID-19 infections in communities across the state. As one might expect, these healthcare heroes desperately need support as they work to distribute the vaccine as efficiently as possible. If you’re interested in helping your local healthcare professionals or simply showing your appreciation, here are a few ways to make a difference in frontline workers’ lives.
Join the army of frontline workers
If you love meeting new people and making a positive difference globally, a healthcare career is an excellent option for you. While becoming a practicing physician can take upwards of 15 years, becoming a registered nurse can take as little as two years and opens the door to a world of possibilities. Nurses are in high demand, and with the pandemic, clinics and hospitals across the globe are constantly looking for more staff. Becoming a travel nurse is a great way to help ease the burden on frontline workers. Using job marketplaces like Fusion Marketplace, you can easily find healthcare facilities in desperate need of extra hands and offer up your services as an additional staff member.
With blood drives nearly impossible under coronavirus restrictions, hospitals desperately need blood products for transfusions. If you’ve had coronavirus and have fully recovered, donating blood is particularly helpful as the plasma in your blood might contain COVID-19 antibodies. Hospitalized COVID-19 patients can greatly benefit from convalescent plasma transfusions. If you’re planning on donating blood, check the American Red Cross Blood Services website to make an appointment and check out the eligibility rules before you go.
Reach out to your doctor before heading to the ER
Throughout the pandemic, hospitals have reached their total capacity multiple times as a result of COVID-19 outbreaks. While vaccinations will hopefully prevent future surges of COVID-19 patients, it’s essential to ensure that emergency rooms are kept clear for patients who need immediate services. If you’re sick or concerned about your health, reach out to your doctor first before heading to the hospital, even if you’re experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms. Your doctor will be able to tell you whether immediate medical services are necessary. Avoiding the ER allows critically ill or injured people to obtain treatment with minimal wait time and decreases stress levels for healthcare workers.
Stay healthy by following experts’ advice
The easiest way to show support to frontline workers is to follow the guidance they provide for lessening the spread of COVID-19. Washing your hands properly, wearing a mask, and social distancing keeps vulnerable people from contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms that send them to the hospital. Additionally, stick to verified sources when you’re searching for health information. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization are great resources for updated COVID-19 statistics and news.
Express your gratitude
Showing support doesn’t have to mean spending money or donating blood. A simple “thank you” or expression of gratitude goes a long way. Acknowledging the work that frontline workers do every day and the danger they put themselves in can help them feel appreciated and encouraged. If you know a frontline worker personally, sharing a funny story or joke can help cut through the stress and exhaustion from their work, and scheduling one-on-one time to check-in can help them feel cared for.
The bottom line
Frontline workers give all of their time and energy to keeping communities healthy and safe, putting themselves at risk every day. Now, more than ever, it’s essential to come together and show them well-deserved appreciation for all that they do.