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MARC CHASE: Do the right thing for COVID-19 front-line workers
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MARC CHASE: Do the right thing for COVID-19 front-line workers

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It's personal.

This morning I watched my wife — the mother of my four children — take a deep breath before heading to her car for work.

She left our Winfield home wearing black scrubs and a stethoscope draped around her neck.

Tonight, when she returns home after a long shift, she'll remove her scrubs in the garage, make a beeline to the washing machine with those garments and then hit the shower, with strict instructions for our children not to give her the customary "welcome home" hugs they usually provide until she is clean.

While many of us are working from home, doing our part to protect our society and families from the COVID-19 pandemic, she and so many others are working the trenches on the front lines of this fight.

My wife is a nurse practitioner at a Region urgent care clinic — a facility no doubt inundated in recent weeks with people who arrive with symptoms that could very well mean coronavirus.

She can't talk about what she does with her family, given health-care privacy laws. But we know.

She and all of the other front-line medical providers dealing with patients, administering tests and working around the clock to keep our society as healthy and safe as possible are doing their jobs.

But in these times, it's heroic work, and they deserve praise for it.

So do so many other folks in our community — from grocery store clerks to gas station attendants. There are so many folks who continue to staff the essential services our society requires, putting themselves in harm’s way in the process.

Let's all thank them by following guidelines and best suggested practices on when to leave our homes, when to be tested if we have symptoms, when to quarantine and how we space, how to place appropriate distance between ourselves and others and how to cleanse ourselves before and after contact with people.

Employers of front-line workers should be thanking them, as well, by ensuring they have the best available protective equipment at their disposal and the best safety practices in place.

A quick search of COVID-19 on nwi.com will pull up countless stories with guidance and news on the virus' local impact. All of this coverage is free and living outside of The Times paywall, meaning no subscription is needed to view it.

Arm yourselves with this information, and follow the guidelines.

It's the best way we can thank our front-line heroes.

COVID-19 has become an exceptionally heavy acronym for something so short on characters.

We all need to keep the thoughts, prayers and praise flowing for the front-line workers in our Region who are carrying the heaviest parts of that load.

COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease of 2019, is sweeping through our Region and putting so many people under an enormous amount of stress.

As we manage that stress and our understandable fears, save some thanks for the people who are risking their well-being to keep our Region community as safe and well-supplied as possible.

To those people, and on behalf of The Times and myself, thank you all.

You are the heroes of this narrative, and we owe you every ounce of gratitude that can be mustered — and every proper action and behavior as citizens to keep you as safe as possible.

Gallery: World responds to threat, reality of coronavirus

Executive Editor Marc Chase can be reached at 219-933-3327 or marc.chase@nwi.com. Follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/marc.chase.9 or Twitter @nwi_MarcChase. The opinions are the writer's.

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