In the last year, a global pandemic has presented Tulsans with a series of unprecedented challenges. Through it all, one group of Tulsans has worked to save lives.
When we think about heroes in normal times, we think about family members or first responders or even famous athletes. But in this pandemic, the heroes are those who go to work every day fighting to save the lives of our neighbors: Tulsa’s health care professionals.
Since the pandemic began, we’ve lost more than 600 Tulsans – a terrible loss. So many families in our community have lost loved ones to a virus most of us had never even heard of 18 months ago.
Yet Tulsa doctors, nurses and hospital staff continue to go to work despite a very real threat of a deadly disease that could take their life or the life of one of their loved ones. We owe them a giant debt of gratitude.
Over the course of this pandemic, we’ve responded as a city government in almost every way we know how. We’ve asked people to stay at home, wear masks and make sacrifices we never thought we would have to ask Tulsans to make.
I thought we did a great job of thanking our health care workers as a community in the early going of the pandemic. The signs and lights people put up one evening when people across the city clanged pots and pans outside showed true community support for those working to save the lives of our neighbors.
But Tulsa’s health care heroes are under far greater strain today than they were back in March and April.
For that reason, our team at the city decided to create a way for our health care workers to know how much they really are valued in this community. In January, we asked Tulsans for 15-second video submissions for our “Tulsa Thanks You” video project. We received nearly 80 videos from various Tulsans and organizations thanking our health care heroes for their service. It was an incredibly humbling experience getting to see everyone’s debt of gratitude toward those who are saving lives in Tulsa.
When I ask local health care leaders how we can show support for their work, I get a very common answer: “Wear a mask!” So to those who maybe didn’t get a chance to show their appreciation for our heroes with a video submission, wearing a mask and doing your part to help mitigate the spread of this disease is a great way to thank our health care workers by helping keep our hospitalization numbers down.
I invite you to watch our Tulsa Thanks You video and learn more about our efforts to thank our health care workers at: www.cityoftulsa.org/TulsaThanksYou.
Healthcare Professionals, Tulsa Thanks You on Greater Tulsa Reporter