During one of our St. Charles COVID-19 Incident Command calls last week, the dire situation we face became increasingly clear. On that day at that time, our Bend hospital was the only hospital in the state with any available ICU beds.
Suddenly, the refrain I’ve been hearing from colleagues throughout the nation hit incredibly close to home. Our health care workers can no longer be considered the front line of this fight. We are now your last resort.
You are on the front line.
Your actions and choices can make the difference for yourself, your families and your loved ones. Because we simply may not have the beds and staff to care for you if we don’t stop the spread of the virus now.
Please watch this latest message and share it with your friends and family.
Your actions are more important than ever as COVID-19 is more prevalent in Central Oregon than at any other time during this pandemic.
You can make a difference by choosing not to gather for Thanksgiving this year. Follow the advice and ideas we have received from several of our community members and have a virtual meal – share recipes with your loved ones and cook together from a distance. Make a new tradition by taking a piece of leftover pumpkin pie on a hike and eating it at the end of your climb. Take time to remember how much we still have to be grateful for – even in a year that has been fraught with challenges.
More than anything, we need you to stay safe, stay home, wash your hands and if you do need to go out, wear a mask.
And know that hope is on the horizon. Statewide, our hospitals are working on plans to distribute the first COVID-19 vaccines to health care workers and first responders in the coming weeks. We are starting to see the light at the end of this very long fight.