Dear Editor:

The Decatur County community is special in many ways. Our community is known for a tremendous caring spirit. We care about our neighbors, we give generously, we enjoy the company of others, and we care about our community’s future. Our community has a strong connection with our great schools, social groups, sports activities, and community events. All of these attributes contribute to a successful, energetic community that we all love.

The coronavirus has put Decatur County in the national spotlight as infectivity spread early throughout our region. This virus has demonstrated a devastating impact on seniors and those with health concerns. Many of our community members were cared for by Decatur County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) staff. Sadly, some did not survive to return home. Nearly all of us have had a personal experience knowing someone who has been severely ill or passed as a result of the virus.

Over my 30 plus year career in healthcare as a respiratory therapist and executive, I have not witnessed or imagined a more difficult challenge for healthcare staff. The virus is real and dangerous. The environment for frontline healthcare providers has never been so challenging. The day-to-day risks healthcare providers face is real. Compassion fatigue is real. Our staff at DCMH giving all they have is real. The additional demands have placed inconceivable burdens on our devoted caregivers. They don’t complain; they take it on each day. They truly care. Each day, I watch their eyes grow tired, and I hear stories of nurses who miss their children because of the long work hours. I see our environmental services staff work diligently to keep everyone safe. I see physicians give it all and more. Our calling to be caregivers to our community comes with a sense of duty taken seriously by our entire DCMH team. Our commitment is steadfast.

Each one of us enjoys this time of year. It’s the time of year when our families, friends and community bond even more closely. However, I ask you to make this holiday season different by assisting in minimizing the spread of COVID-19.

Please help a healthcare worker by limiting your holiday celebrations to your immediate family, keeping your social distance and wear a mask. Masks and other protective equipment have helped keep caregivers safe for years. A mask will help you and others stay safe. Wearing a mask is a simple task that can help reduce the spread and help decrease the demands placed on healthcare workers.

Our DCMH team is tired. However, we understand our community trusts us to provide great care, so we remain resilient, strong, and committed to serving our Decatur County community. Today marks a new era in combating the virus. DCMH now has the COVID-19 vaccine and is providing it to the community.

Over the coming months we will see progress, but we need your help. Please wear a mask and maintain social distancing.

Rex McKinney

Decatur County Memorial Hospital C.E.O.

Trending Video

Recommended for you