As difficult as it is to see the bright side of anything right now as the world combats a global pandemic, there are uplighting moments happening that can help. Such as a viral photo of one New Jersey man who thanked the doctors and nurses who saved his wife, while practicing social distancing through a glass window.
New Jersey has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country, according to Politico, with more than 3,600 confirmed as of March 25. Naturally, trying to deal with that many cases in addition to other health care needs must be taxing for those providing medical care, which is perhaps why one man in Morristown, New Jersey made sure the doctors and nurses working at Morristown Medical Center knew they're appreciated very much.
On Wednesday, New Jersey resident Shay Vander Vliet shared a photo on Facebook that had been sent to her by her sister-in-law, Paige Vander Vliet, a nurse at the Morristown hospital. The photo shows a man standing outside the health care facility, holding a sign with a handwritten message for the the staff working inside: "Thank you in emergency for saving my wife's life. I love you all." He held up the sign with one hand. The other hand he held over his heart.
Vander Vliet explained on Facebook that she shared the touching photo because "I feel like it needs to be seen as much as possible!" She went on to thank "ALL of the nurses and doctors, for your hard work and dedication, especially during this scary time."
In the hours after sharing the emotional photo on Facebook, thousands of people took to Vander Vliet's post to share how this man's gratitude made them want to share their own appreciative messages. "The gratitude for our exhausted health care workers can be felt in this photo... Bless this man, his wife, and the skilled team who saved her," one person commented on the photo. Another said, "The look in his eyes... pure love and gratitude. thank you to all my fellow health care workers, to all those who work in the hospitals and outpatient settings, to those that make deliveries and just keep us going. stay safe."
Health care providers continue to put themselves at risk for contracting the coronavirus. They continue to show up for shifts that must be more taxing than what they've experienced before. They continue to try to overcome depleting supplies in every state, exhaustion, and a constantly increasing need for help. Hopefully this man's sign is seen by all health care workers read this man's sign and feel the very real gratitude for their service.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here, and Bustle’s constantly updated, general “what to know about coronavirus” here.