By Nate Blackford, Mosaic Medical Center – Maryville president

The first case of COVID-19 in Nodaway County was identified on April 2, 2020. Since then, we have administered over 9,000 COVID tests and identified just over 1,200 additional positive cases as part of our efforts at Mosaic Medical Center – Maryville. During this time, we have learned a lot.

We have learned that the virus does not impact everyone the same way. The young and healthy generally have less symptoms and complications, while others have more significant impacts.

We have learned that a global pandemic can cause a difference of opinions, even among the “experts,” division among friends and family, and can even become a political hot button. We have learned that the mental health impacts of COVID can be substantial. The stress and anxiety generated by the risk of exposure, the threat of quarantine, the negative business and social impacts, etc. can take its toll.

And, we have also learned that those on the front lines of this pandemic have demonstrated courage, dedication and resolve while facing so many unknowns.

In that spirit, Mosaic is honoring our frontline caregivers by casting a blue hue over and around our medical centers. The blue color represents the courage, stamina, dedication and love each caregiver demonstrates in their work and acts as a healing light to acknowledge the emotional costs caregivers are experiencing.

Mosaic recognizes the devotion and commitment of our frontline caregivers. Many caregivers, including doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, chaplains, environmental services, dietary and others, have been working extra shifts to support the needs of our patients. In addition to providing physical care, they offer increased emotional and spiritual support because loved ones are not able to visit due to COVID-19 and our recent visitor guidelines.

When the pandemic hit this spring, our frontline caregivers knew work would be tough, but no one imagined the care would be even more intense throughout the year. Currently, our collective healthcare resources are being stretched. Some caregivers have COVID themselves and are unable to work. COVID-related volumes in our clinics and in the hospital are high. Our team is tired but resilient and prepared. Healthcare is a calling, not a job.

On Friday, November 13, we invited those in our community to show support for our frontline caregivers by driving through our parking lots with lights on and, if so inclined, pause for a moment of prayer.

We invite you to join us in showing gratitude to all our caregivers who not only care for patients, but each other too.