The former President exemplified good leadership by thanking those on the frontlines against the illness and urging citizens to follow federal health guidelines.
Perhaps what is most missed during this public health crisis is good leadership. As the coronavirus epidemic continues to spread across the United States, it appears that our leaders have taken a backseat. Whether it is President Donald Trump calling the virus a "hoax" or local government officials acting too late, leadership in our nation has seemingly gone for a toss. Thankfully, there's still one person we can depend on: former President Barack Obama. In a post uploaded to Twitter earlier this week, Obama took a moment to thank our country's health professionals, who are on the frontlines of this disease, CNN reports.
Responding to Rachel Patzer, a medical professor, he wrote, "We owe a profound debt of gratitude to all our health professionals and everybody who’ll be on the front lines of this pandemic for a long while. They’re giving everything. May we all model our own behavior on their selflessness and sacrifice as we help each other through this." As the virus spreads across the United States at an unprecedented rate, it is doctors, nurses, and other health workers who play a critical role in tackling the crisis. Faced with massive shortages of medical supplies and an overburdened healthcare system, they truly do not have it easy.
In addition to thanking medical professionals, the former President has also been doing his best to share accurate and verified information about the virus. Earlier this week, he urged individuals to place themselves under quarantine in order to stop the spread of the disease. Sharing an article about how self-isolation can help mitigate the public health crisis, he posted, "[This article] shows why we should all do the right thing and stay home to the fullest extent possible. All of us can help slow the spread of the virus, protecting the elderly, the vulnerable, and each other."
Obama, nonetheless, also acknowledged how it may be difficult for some of us to work from home or take two weeks off of work. "Not everybody can stay home, and we owe a big debt of gratitude to health professionals, transit and airport workers, first responders, and everyone keeping our communities going," he stated. "Leaders have to step up to support people whose lives and livelihoods take a hit in the weeks ahead." And he's right. It is because of individuals working in healthcare, sanitation, public transport, and more, that our communities can continue to run. It is why our supermarket shelves are stocked and our waste does not pile up.
Finally, he urged citizens to be good neighbors. Obama wrote, "Remember to check up by phone on elderly or vulnerable friends and neighbors who may need our help." After all, it is only when we come together as a community in order to fill in the gaps where needed that we can expect to fight a deadly disease such as coronavirus. As good samaritans across the country help the elderly with groceries or ensure their immunocompromised neighbors are safe, the country is witnessing the importance of community and humanity. Meanwhile, those who actively choose to deflect the guidelines proposed by America's federal health agencies must remember the risk they pose to those around them.
Platz, whose husband is a physician in the emergency department of a hospital, is worried about the health of her husband as well as the couple's two young children and three-week-old newborn. She stated, "It is difficult to see pictures of all the people at bars and restaurants, socializing, making play dates, and ignoring social distancing recommendations when I know my husband and many other health care workers are risking their lives to treat more sick patients." In order to truly fight the coronavirus and protect all our citizens, we must put the greater good above our own self-interests. The time to act is now.