CHEERS to frontline healthcare workers as they continue to battle COVID-19.

Yes, we've CHEERED them before, but for the work they do, we can't CHEER them or thank them enough for their efforts.

Doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers have been at the center of this fight since the pandemic began last March.

They care for the sick, provide COVID-19 tests, ease fears and do so much more for patients and their families.

And they do it often under harsh conditions having to wear uncomfortable, hot masks and gowns for hours on end.

The virus is tricky and it can manifest itself in so many different ways in so many different patients, causing frustration and anger.

And yet, our healthcare frontliners stay the course and continue to shine.

Fortunately for the North Country, our numbers of COVID-19 cases have not been as high as other parts of the state or nation.

But still, our healthcare facilities have been tested.

Now, as the numbers continue to rise in this second wave of the pandemic, the concern of what the impact on our local healthcare system will be is once again increasing.

Nobody wants to see our hospitals, clinics and doctor's offices overwhelmed and unable to meet the demand of infected people.

But the concern is real as numbers in the Clinton, Essex and Franklin County areas have skyrocketed in recent months. We all need to make sure we are doing what we can to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Wear masks, social distance, avoid large gatherings, wash hands and just stay home when you can are things that we all can do.

But if the situation were to devolve into a massive crash on our healthcare system, we take comfort in knowing that our frontline healthcare workers will be there to get the job done no matter how difficult.

It takes a special kind of person to become a frontline healthcare worker. Kindness, compassion, generosity, selflessness and love are the main ingredients that usually make up a frontline healthcare workers and we've seen it in spades over the past nine months.

With hospitalization visits restricted, families cannot visit those stricken with COVID-19.

In many cases, families are forced to communicate, or worst case, say goodbye, to loved ones via FaceTime or some other electronic platform.

It is often a nurse who will set those calls up, giving families precious time with their ailing loved one.

It's hard to think of a more humane gesture than that, and our nurses do it all the time.

We are grateful that a vaccine for COVID-19 is now available and our frontline healthcare workers are among the first to get vaccinated.

It is our hope that this vaccine will be a huge turning point in this pandemic, and give us the room we need to stem the spread and eventually eliminate this hideous virus.

It is also our hope that frontline healthcare workers come out of this remembered as the heroes they so rightly have been called this past year.

They have created a new image of healthcare providers and no doubt inspired a new generation of those who want to get into the medical field to do some good.

For that, we can never CHEER them enough.

Stay safe, North Country.


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