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COVID-19: The Forgotten Frontline

Healthcare workers of all ethnicities, beliefs and backgrounds are currently being overwhelmed with patients because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are working around the clock to care for and protect our family members, friends, and loved ones. In a small effort to show our admiration and appreciation (and power them through exhausting days), Aunty's Kitchen has been offering free meals to all healthcare workers for their valued, but often unrecognized efforts.

Through this initiative, I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to speak with some incredible physicians, nurses, therapists, technicians, and pharmacists. Each one with a unique story and perspective on the crisis, and the role they play in controlling and reducing its impact.

Yesterday, I met Christine, who works as a mental health clinician on an ACT team in Waterloo. ACT stands for Assertive Community Treatment. ACT teams provide a support system for individuals with serious, persistent mental illnesses through psychiatric treatment, rehabilitation, and other support services. In Christine's own words, "we do whatever it takes to keep these folks out of the hospital and maintain a good quality of life."

Christine's job is especially important during this time because a lot of her patients are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 as they cannot take the precautions necessary to protect themselves from the virus – simple things such as avoiding crowded areas, washing their hands or wearing gloves. This pandemic is rapidly changing how we live our daily lives. And while many of us are fortunate enough to process and adjust to this new reality, some are not. It is in times like this that I think about how much we have to be thankful for.

Let's take a moment to applaud the countless healthcare workers who are at the frontlines in the fight against coronavirus.  And also remember those in the community that are more vulnerable and affected by this crisis in ways we cannot imagine.

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