Opinion: Show your support for health care workers by staying home

Tom Bell

Guest column
by Tom Bell

Gov. Laura Kelly recently issued a statewide “stay home” order, which is an important part of the ongoing effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.

In doing so, she cited several reasons, including the need to prevent overburdening the health care system, and to buy more time to help secure necessary medical supplies.

At the same time that our own state’s “stay home” order takes effect, there are more and more examples of support being expressed for health care workers who are on the front lines of this battle.

That is gratifying and well deserved. Every day, health care workers take care of the most vulnerable among us—people who are anxious, people who are scared, people who do not have the resources to pay for their services.

We put health care workers in often-impossible situations, asking them to do more with less, and then look over their shoulders as they navigate this difficult terrain. In short, we take them for granted on a regular basis.

I hope that as we move forward in this very difficult environment, that attitude vanishes. I hope that we recognize health care workers as the best among us: as people who run toward a problem instead away from it; as people who care for members of their community every hour of every day; as people who prioritize the health of their patients ahead of personal security. At the very least, we owe them that.

If you agree that our Kansas health care workers deserve our support, there is a very simple but important way you can express that support. It is a fact that social isolation and distancing will help reduce the spread of the virus and limit the exposure of vulnerable individuals.

Following Gov. Kelly’s “stay home” order is the one thing the rest of us can do to support our health care workers and the health of our state.

Tom Bell is the president and CEO of the Kansas Hospital Association.