POMEROY — Medical workers are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, working to meet the needs of patients across the nation.
On Tuesday afternoon, a group from around the area visited both the Holzer Meigs Emergency Department and Holzer Hospital in Gallipolis, singing, praying for the workers and thanking them for the work they are doing.
Karla Brown, one of the organizers, explained that seeing similar acts across the country led to the decision to do the song and prayer caravan on Tuesday.
”I’d love to say the idea just came to me, but honestly I had seen videos of it happening at other medical facilities across the country. I also had a good friend, Andrea Venoy, who posted a video of a group at the hospital where her daughter works. Andrea was very instrumental in getting things set up,” said Brown via email.
A post to her personal social media page on Monday got things started, calling for anyone who wanted to participate to meet at the Meigs ER on Tuesday afternoon.
”We initially got some negative feedback from people who were concerned about the stay at home order, but I think that’s to be expected in such uncertain times,” said Brown of initial concerns.
Individuals taking part stayed either in or near their vehicles, with only small groups standing together of those who reside together or traveled together in order practice social distancing.
“Someone commented from our pictures that there were people standing ‘too close’ to one another,” said Brown. “People who came with those with whom they live stayed in those little groups, but we ultimately distanced ourselves from one another or each others’ groups according to the governor’s order.”
There were more than 30 people at the Meigs location, spread across the ER parking lot.
”The turn out was phenomenal. Especially for such a small community, with only social media publicity. I do wish a few of the local churches and pastors would have participated, but we still were incredibly blessed with a great turnout,” said Brown.
“The feedback has been very humbling. It’s surreal to stand several feet away from masked caregivers and try to express to them how much you appreciate the fact that every single day they are willingly putting their lives on the line for you and those you love,” said Brown.
Brown added, “Workers at both Meigs ER and Holzer Hospital came out of the building and stood, listened, and sang along and several patients and families stood at their windows at Holzer, waving and singing. This needs to be something we do during the Christmas holidays for sure.”
As for future plans for similar events during the COVID-19 pandemic, Brown stated, “We have gotten a couple of requests from area facilities and we hope to be able to visit those. Our equipment is borrowed, so future visits is contingent on having access to the speaker and mic. … We weren’t able to get Pleasant Valley or O’Bleness today (Tuesday), but we plan to visit those facilities — and a couple of others who have requested a visit — on Thursday.”
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Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.