The World Health Organization (WHO) has celebrated World Health Day on
April 7 since 1950. The day is meant to shine a light on an area of healthcare
that needs global attention. World Health Days in previous years have
focused on universal health coverage, diabetes, antibiotic resistance,
and food safety.
The theme for 2020 this year was particularly appropriate, given the ongoing
COVID-19 pandemic and the strain it is putting on healthcare professionals.
This year the World Health Day theme was
Support Nurses and Midwives. Even though World Health Day has passed, here's what you can do to
continue to support nurses and other healthcare workers who are on the
frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic in your area.
Help With Groceries and Supplies
Going to the grocery store is one of the activities that is still allowed
under stay home orders in Florida and around the U.S. But for nurses and
midwives who are working long (12-hour) shifts at the hospital, finding
time to go to the store can be a challenge. One way to help out is to
offer to do the shopping for a nurse or healthcare worker in your neighborhood.
Ask them to send you a list of what they need by text or email, then pick
up their groceries when you do your own shopping. Try to go at a time
when the store won't be crowded to protect yourself and others. Practice
social distancing by staying at least six feet from others. It's also
a good idea to cover your mouth and nose with a cloth mask or bandana.
Drop off the groceries at their house by leaving the bags on the front
porch or in a garage. Don't bring the groceries inside the home yourself.
If you're not comfortable going to the store yourself, you can order
delivery for a healthcare worker you know.
If you don't personally know any nurses or midwives, you can still
support them. When you're out shopping or are ordering groceries for
your home, try to limit what you buy. Don't stock up on more than
you'll need or use over a two-week period. Avoiding the urge to panic
buy means that there will be enough for everyone.
Leave PPE to the Pros
Although the CDC has started to recommend that people wear fabric face
coverings when they go outside1, it does not recommend that civilians and non-medical professionals wear
personal protective equipment (PPE) such as N-95 respirators or surgical
masks. PPE is in demand and in short supply among the people who need
it most, including nurses and other employees in hospitals.
To support healthcare workers through the pandemic, leave any PPE you see
on store shelves on the shelf. Don't buy it for yourself. If you happen
to have any gear around your home, such as surgical or N-95 masks, vinyl
gloves or hand sanitizer, consider donating it to your local hospital.
They may need it much more than you do at the moment.
If you do have a donation for a local healthcare provider or hospital,
call before bringing it over. The facility might not need it or might
prefer it if you stayed home.
If you are healthy and do not have signs or symptoms of COVID-19, it is
still safe for you to donate blood or blood products. In fact, the
American Red Cross and the
FDA are encouraging healthy individuals to donate blood during the pandemic,
to minimize the risk of a blood shortage in the near future.
When you go to donate blood, remember to practice social distancing on
your way to the donation center and while at the donation center.
Doing your part to help "flatten the curve" will also help to
support nurses and healthcare workers during the pandemic. Right now,
staying home unless you absolutely need to go out is one of the best ways
to help flatten the curve and reduce community spread of the virus.
When you do go out, either to go to work, to the supermarket, or for a
walk or run, keep at least six feet away from others and wear a fabric
mask to reduce the chance of spreading the disease. When you return home
from essential errands, set your bags and coat down at the entryway and
take off your shoes. Wash your hands before you touch anything else. Remember
to use soap and water when washing your hands and to scrub up for at least
Post Something Positive on Social Media
It seems simple, but every little word of encouragement and gratitude can
go a long way when it comes to supporting nurses, midwives, and other
essential healthcare workers. If you use social media, create a post to
say thanks to your local healthcare team. You can use the hashtag #Thankyoudoctors
#SupportNursesandMidwives when you make your post.
- Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19, CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html