Should the US call retired health care workers back into service to fight COVID-19?
Congratulations: you're a retired medical professional enjoying relief from the emotional and physical demands of caring for the sick. Few deserve the relaxation, and gratification of a life well served, more; however, if some of the coronavirus models and epidemiological estimates reflect reality, we may need you back. We may need to summon the health care heroes.
It's the least of our worries, but a reflection of our virulent times that all manner of sporting events have been canceled. I desperately miss those diversions from reality, especially relishing world-renowned soccer club Liverpool F.C. inexorably march to the summit of the prestigious Premier League — and remaining there until season's end.
Even more disappointing is the postponement of the Olympic Games. The IOC held out for a while, but discretion was the better part of valor. Indeed, in common with our medical professionals, valor is one thing the Olympic athletes effuse as they toil in obscurity for years before confronting their demanding dreams in an Olympic instant. The Olympians will be summoned next year instead, but we may need to summon our health care heroes sooner, even the retired ones.
"Summon the Heroes" is the splendid and invigorating music composed by John Williams that captures the essence of the Olympic spirit. But with no sports to escape to after a hard day, it suddenly hit me, as if I'd been struck by a woman scorned: the true heroes during these worst of times are our health care workers. Our sporting "heroes" are missed, but they aren't essential; our health care workers are absolutely indispensable.
Separated from families for extended periods, they are tempting fate as they enter the COVID-19 cauldron. Tragically, some of these heroes are succumbing to the invisible enemy, even as their skills and dedication are desperately needed. It's crucial that the private and public sectors provide them with a robust PPE shield. Still, we may need to summon more heroes to bolster the ranks of the anti-COVID-19 rapid expeditionary force, perhaps even mobilizing those who dared to retire.
President Trump has assumed the mantle of wartime president. In that regard, it's not trite to invoke the "never was so much owed by so many to so few" speech by the great Sir Winston Churchill. Back then, he was referring to the indomitable spirit of the Spitfire pilots who freed the English skies of the dark Luftwaffe. Today, the few are the men and women working tirelessly on the frontlines to repel the COVID-19 invasion.
Crank up the Boston Pops, and be grateful for our true heroes — not the cognitively confused, self-absorbed, and pampered pretenders normally foisted upon us by degenerate popular culture.