It’s National Public Health Week, a week that often passes without notice. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a profound awareness of the extraordinary commitment and bravery of frontline health care workers and all those who keep society functioning.
To give thanks seems too little. To fight so they have the tools they need to work safely is our first order of business, and that is exactly what many states are doing.
Working round the clock, governors and their public health officers have set up command centers to track and respond to the disease and update the public while imploring the federal government for critical supplies and equipment.
Health departments are scrambling so hospitals have additional bed capacity and more providers can quickly enter the workforce. Insurance departments are allowing grace periods for premium payment and eliminating copays and state exchanges have opened special enrollment periods and state Medicaid agencies are facilitating coverage.
During Public Health Week, let’s give thanks to those who do their jobs every day with compassion and unfailing willingness, despite the risk and long hours. We are, indeed, all in this together to protect the public’s health.