Burnout. Exhaustion. Fear. Vulnerability.
The experience of those touched by healthcare – both clinician and patient – has been defined by these four words for over a year now. With COVID-19 still inundating hospitals and sidelining non-COVID patients, those receiving and providing critical care have carried the burden of this pandemic’s ebbs and flows.
As a company built for and by members of the healthcare community, we at Care+Wear have heard firsthand the feelings of defeat and utter weariness that plague clinicians and patients alike as the pandemic rages on.
We’ve listened to the stories of cancer patients who were once surrounded by a community of fighters and survivors and who are now forced to go without, isolated by the fear of exposing one another to the threat of COVID-19 while immunocompromised and undergoing the stress of treatment.
We’ve spoken with the clinicians who find themselves collapsing into bed each night, too tired to do anything but shut their eyes and wait for the same day to start again – a day spent rushing from bedside to bedside and through hospital corridors in hopes of helping everyone who needs it.
This feeling of helplessness has pervaded the healthcare community – because while once New Yorkers flooded the streets with chants of appreciation, the ringing of bells, and the clatters and clangs of pots and pans to honor our healthcare heroes, those celebrations have fallen away. Many of those who have no need to think any longer of hospitals and doctors and sickness seem to choose not to.
And we understand that – because the last year and a half have been difficult for all of us.
But the pandemic is not over, and we still must show up for our healthcare workers. We must show up for the people made vulnerable by chronic illnesses, pre-existing conditions, and a need to return to healthcare facilities on a regular basis to receive the care they require. We must show up for those who don’t have the privilege to choose whether or not they return to the hospital tomorrow or whether or not they can go a day without thinking of their health and the threat of COVID-19.
We can show up for them in big ways and small ways – in ways beyond the pots and the pans and the painted sidewalks. First and foremost, we can show up by getting vaccinated if we are able. We can show up by encouraging our loved ones, our neighbors, and even the strangers we pass in the street to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, why it is safe, and where they can get one.
This pandemic has proven that unless we move forward together, we won’t move forward at all. Our community’s health is our health, and our health affects our community.
Right now, our healthcare community is falling through the cracks. Our clinicians are increasingly exhausted, our patients vulnerable, and all of their loved ones stuck in a limbo of fear and anxiety.
So today, go and get the vaccine. Stop the spread and help those around you to do the same.
And tomorrow, find the way that you can give back to the doctors and nurses, the patients and survivors in your own special way.
For us, that means continuing our mission to work with clinicians, patients, and designers to create “healthwear” that brings dignity, self-expression, and confidence to healthcare. It means a Scrubs Collection designed in partnership with esteemed designer Josie Natori to celebrate our healthcare heroes through fashion – through scrubs that move and breathe just as they do. It means bridging fashion and function to create a more human healthcare experience. And in the age of clinician burnout and patient exhaustion, it means never stopping advocating for all those touched by healthcare as we navigate COVID-19 and its threat to our collective wellbeing.
For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine and how to get vaccinated, head tohttps://www.vaccines.gov/