‘Do the right thing’: Experts make plea to ease strain on Ohio health care workers


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Health care workers joined Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s coronavirus news conference via video on Thursday to make a plea to fellow Ohioans.

With COVID-19 cases surging, there is a greater strain on doctor, nurses and support staff. DeWine said they were asked to run a marathon in March and now they’re being asked to run another, while Knox Community Hospital CEO Bruce White made a sports analogy, saying we’re in the fourth quarter.

“This is the fourth quarter. This is when it’s the most important. This may be when you’re tired or hurting, but this is when you buckle down because this is when it’s the most significant. And I almost feel like in Ohio, we should all be going around with four fingers held up. We’re in the fourth quarter, let’s hang on for the coming months, until we get these vaccines,” White said.

Cheryl Herbert, senior vice president at Ohio Health, said in the beginning of the pandemic, we treated health care professionals like heroes and it’s time to show our appreciation again. She said we can do that by wearing masks and maintaining distance. She also begged people not to gather for Thanksgiving.

“If you knew that a storm surge of epic proportions was headed in your direction, you would evacuate. You would leave the area, you would run away. Health care workers cannot evacuate,” Herbert said.

“Earlier in the pandemic, we were worried about PPE, the issue now is manpower. I work with amazingly dedicated people. Every day they perform miracles, but they can’t perform magic. They are tired and they need the support of our state. They need people to do the right thing” said Knox Community Hospital CEO Bruce White.

Controlling COVID-19 isn’t just about caring for those patients, it’s also about ensuring there is staff to care for people with everyday health issues like high blood pressure, COPD and diabetes. White said cancer screening services can also suffer.

The message from White and Herbert was clear: Ohioans have a responsibility to help health care workers weather the storm.

“If you haven’t had COVID, be grateful. If you have had COVID-19 and recovered, be grateful. There are many others who haven’t,” Herbert said.

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