Much has been written about the Greatest Generation, usually defined as those born between 1901 and 1927, many of whom risked their lives fighting in World War II.
Those that came after them look upon that generation with great admiration and gratitude for their bravery and for the sacrifices they were willing to make for a greater cause. Perhaps some of you, like me, also looked upon that generation with a little bit of envy.
Envy because they had a chance to test themselves in a time of worldwide crisis, a chance to “show their mettle.” I often wondered whether Baby Boomers like myself and the generations that followed would do the same if we faced our own crisis.
Well, I wonder no more. Now we confront a baffling invisible enemy no less frightening as the world witnesses an ever-increasing death toll from the COVID-19.
We can debate for hours on end the appropriateness of the response to this crisis by our political leaders. But there can be no debate about the response of our frontline healthcare workers. Across the spectrum of doctors, nurses and EMTs to the hospital’s janitorial staff, they are responding in ways that make all of us proud.
There are countless stories of staff working around the clock, often without sleep. Healthcare professionals across the country are risking their own safety working without proper protection gear, with limited equipment and a scarcity of supplies.
Many have gotten sick, some have died and more will but the fight goes on. While most of us do our best to safely shelter in place, our healthcare workers are in the battle every day fighting this invisible enemy with the courage and sacrifice reminiscent of the Greatest Generation.
There are many noble professions in life. Teachers and clergy come quickly to mind. As a former hospital administrator, I have long felt that folks who choose to work in a hospital or as first responders are amongst the noblest of all. They do their jobs for the sole purpose of taking care of you when you need them most.
So to the noble men and women who staff our nation’s hospitals, I say, Thank you, Thank you and Thank you again. You are this nation’s heroes.
William “Bill” Moore
Former CEO of Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center and 2012 chair of the Georgia Hospital Association