I used to wonder what it must be like to live in the path of a hurricane. I would watch news coverage and sympathize with how overwhelming, uncertain, scary and powerless it must be to know that a huge destructive force was headed toward your loved ones and community. Watching. Waiting. Hoping and praying that maybe it would turn and head back out to sea. I don’t wonder what that is like anymore. I feel like COVID-19 has shown me.
The coronavirus pandemic is our hurricane on a scale bigger than anything we have witnessed. While there will be communities and states “in the eye” and others in the “outer bands,” there may be no place on Earth unaffected by COVID-19. It is April 27 as I write this; 16,325 fellow Ohioans have been infected with COVID-19, 3,232 have been hospitalized, 978 have been placed in ICU and 753 have died (in just a month’s time). And it is both a health crisis and an economic crisis.
It all feels so overwhelming, but it is not hopeless, and we are not helpless. My time watching hurricanes has taught me that although we cannot control the storm, we have so much control over its impact. Our response will have everything to do with how much we lose and how well we recover. WE ALL have power!
I am proud and reassured to report that Fisher-Titus has been proactive, focused, organized, and strategic in planning, preparing, and providing care through the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have made important investments to build capacity and to protect and care for our staff, patients and community.
I am also humbled, inspired and hopeful watching the community rally for our healthcare workers, first responders, essential workers, small businesses, charities, and one another. People have stepped up to take care of each other in large and small ways. A thank you does not begin to express the gratitude the Fisher-Titus family feels for the many individuals, businesses and organizations who have donated personal protective equipment items, supplies, meals, snacks, water, artwork and care packages for our staff and residents through the Fisher-Titus Foundation. Your donations have been vital, practical and have lifted our spirits. We know we are not alone.
Our community has always, always pulled together in crisis. I believe in us now. We are resilient and we are generous. The burden of COVID-19 will ebb and flow but will continue to challenge us. We will continue to need each other. Please continue to check in on the isolated, run errands for the vulnerable, shop local, follow Ohio’s guidance to slow the disease, and give when you can.
“Giving Tuesday Now – A Day of Unity” is next Tuesday, May 5. For those in a position to help, please consider a gift to the local non-profits, who are always helping our neighbors but are challenged to meet growing need with fewer donations. For those looking for a way to support Fisher-Titus as we care for the sick, assist the uninsured and invest in new capacity (like lab equipment for COVID-19 testing), you can send a tax-deductible donation to the Fisher-Titus Foundation’s Crisis Response Fund at 272 Benedict Avenue, Norwalk OH 44857, online at here or by phone at 419-660-2528.