I hope you are staying healthy and safe during these extraordinarily challenging times.
My name is Sabrina, and I’m a student at Syosset High School in Long Island, New York. Over the past week, I’ve been mulling over how I, our Syosset schools, and surrounding communities can contribute in this battle against the Coronavirus. Thankfully, the Syosset Central School district, various student organizations, local community leaders, and the general public have already come together with generous support for this cause.
The Current Situation: Scarce Medical Resources
In light of the severely escalating Coronavirus pandemic in the US, particularly in the NYC/LI region, we have communities at the frontlines of this battle, risking their lives to serve us and our loved ones, and many people who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, namely BIPOC communities. They're not only being exposed to the virus by fighting it, but are also under increasingly dire circumstances due to severe shortages of medical masks, ventilators, intensive care units, and other essential equipment.
I created this GoFundMe to raise money for medical supplies for frontline workers, first responders, and underprivileged and underserved POC communities who are at high risk of getting the virus, all to show our solidarity, appreciation, and support for the enormous sacrifices they are making to keep our communities safe and healthy and to honor those who are struggling during these unprecedented times.
During this critical time, lack of resources has led many hospital employees to substitute essential medical masks with bandanas and scarves, which are not as effective. Some doctors and nurses have had to make the conscious decision to risk their own lives to continue their jobs without proper equipment; they are our heroes and need our support NOW.
Stories from Our Community
There are several complications these frontline workers are currently dealing with. I read online about a doctor in the Bronx whose co-residents had to transport a confirmed COVID-19 patient by themselves to the operating room without N95 masks because the ICU had run out of them. Another doctor, Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University, received a phone call from a major Florida hospital which had run out of masks asking if it was possible to construct makeshift masks. Doctors in Seattle who are also forced to reuse N95 masks say they fear the lack of supplies will be deadly.
“If people think that a hospital crisis is coming, it’s important to know that it’s already here,” Redlener said. “It’s affecting front-line health workers, who are probably the highest risk group. These are like combat troops on the front lines of a war.”
Doctors in America are facing acute issues because of the government's failure to protect them by adequately warning the public, providing tests, and supplying enough protective equipment. Emergency-room doctors are even more at risk. Every time a doctor falls ill, a health-care system already on the brink of collapse is further stretched thin.
These stories are all sobering reminders of the critical situation we are in, and shouldn’t overwhelm us into inaction or apathy, but rather spur us into mobilizing our resources and privileges to help those in need.
With New York City’s virus progression approximately two weeks behind Italy’s, we must prioritize protecting our health care workers. China has used full body suits and better preventive techniques, and reports of infection amongst health care workers are closer to 3%. American preventative practices, alarmingly, are far behind. It is frightening to imagine the consequences if we do not prioritize our health care providers. After all, without our doctors and nurses, what will we do?
Action Plan and Disbursement of Funds
In pursuit of transparency, and so that you can have full confidence in trust in this GoFundMe, we will be continually updating this page with updates. We have been in contact with local hospitals such as Syosset Hospital and Plainview Hospital. We are also currently in contact with a manufacturer of FDA approved KN95 masks, the highest grade, who is already preparing a first order of 2,000 masks with money I have raised on my own through donations of family, friends, and personal funds all totaling around $3,450. However, we need a lot more funds to acquire more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as the mayor of New York City has already announced that hospitals will run out of PPE in 7 days.
We are racing against the clock to provide adequate materials for those medical practitioners who are working tirelessly to keep us alive. Stand with us, and them, and help by donating to this cause and sharing this page with someone you know, so we can collectively raise money to help Long Island healthcare professionals purchase critical medical supplies that are running out— even as I write this.
In Closing, an Encouragement
Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures. Over the last few days, I’ve been reminded time and time again that in moments of crisis, humanity needs to unite and take a stand.
It is time to support and thank the health care workers of the Long Island and New York City area, where the contagion has proliferated more than anywhere else. To them we say, thank you for putting your and your family’s lives on the line to fulfill your honorable duty. Thank you for relentlessly operating in perilous conditions to save everyone possible. The sacrifices you’ve made will not go unnoticed, and the thousands you save will be indebted to you for your service.
Together we must continue to vouch for the safety of the medical community, the underserved and underprivileged POC communities, and raise awareness of this crisis. This virus will undoubtedly continue wreaking havoc on our city and the Long Island communities, but these workers are our great hope, who through their selfless sacrifice, are a literal lifeline to all of us.
Let us fight to help our community overcome this battle!
With Expectant Hope,
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