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Teen Vogue - Reopening the Economy Quickly Endangers Health Care Workers Like Our Parents

April 28, 2020

BY TAYLOR RICHARDSON AND HALEY TAYLOR SCHLITZ Throughout the history of our nation, Americans have faced many crises. From pandemics to world wars, these events have helped us pull together and demonstrate our full potential as a nation. During these times as brave Americans went off to fight for our safety, we also had a strong foundation of support that would be known as the home front. The COVID-19 crisis is no different. Once again we have a true home front of American families who get up each day to support their loved ones as they go off to work as physicians, nurses, health care techs, postal workers, grocery store workers, firefighters, EMTs, truck drivers, food service workers, custodians, sanitation workers, and so many more. As children of health care workers, we are doing our best to be part of a strong front that starts within the walls of our own homes. We are not alone in this fight. Our family members and many of our friends are traversing the same stressful roller coaster of emotions each day as we watch our loved ones venture off to help keep our communities safe, healthy, and fed. After they head off to work, we gather around our TVs, check online news sources, and watch our social media feeds flow with the latest news regarding COVID-19. We watch as the number of people infected grows and the list of those who have passed away increases daily. We watch the broadcast reports on the lack of crucial Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and testing kits in many cities. We internalize the stories that our doctors, nurses and other health care workers have a much higher risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 simply because they are sacrificing their own personal safety to help save others, while mayors seem to be arbitrarily picking dates to lift their stay-at-home orders. We watch as our own community sees disproportionate rates of death from COVID-19, while state and federal officials gloss over the grim reality. We are fully aware that the risk to our parents and loved ones is real and not going away anytime soon, and some will fall victim to these precarious times.

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