Our frontline medical workers need us to stand by their side and fight

Published 4:00 am Friday, January 1, 2021

Time Magazine got it wrong when it named its Person of the Year for 2020.

The magazine named President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as its Person of the Year, a moniker that is anticipated and debated each year. But this is no comment as to the politics of the selection. Biden and Harris, in winning a hotly contested and passionate election, would be worthy selections in any other year.

But this is 2020 and the editors of the magazine made a mistake, a tone-deaf mistake that we are sure they would correct if given the opportunity.

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In 2020, there is but only one choice when it comes to the Person of the Year, whether it be Time Magazine or any other publication or media outlet that finds itself important enough to present such honors.

This year, a year so devastatingly ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, the only person or persons worthy of such a title at any level are our frontline medical workers. It is them — those heroes who have long forgotten what it felt to be just tired because of their exhaustion right now — who deserve our continued praise, adoration and appreciation.

For more than 10 months, our local paramedics, nurses, doctors, lab technicians, and many others serving on the front line, have quite literally waged war against this virus. They have stood there each day administering tests and providing treatment. In a world where patients hospitalized with this virus cannot be there with family, they have also been compassionate companions for those fighting for their lives.

In this war, there have been casualties and there have been fatalities. Our frontline heroes have been there when far too many have taken their last desperate breath. They have been there to offer condolences to families, sometimes not even in person, to tell them that their loved ones are among the mounting numbers of people killed by an invisible enemy.

Recently, The Post was honored to be present as a handful of medical personnel received the first portions of the COVID-19 vaccine. As the shots were administered you could almost see a weight lifted from their shoulders — not because they were receiving a vaccine that could protect them from this virus, but because it was the start of a vaccine being administered that could protect all of us.

They have seen it first hand. They know what this virus can do and has done to far too many.

For nearly a year, these men and women have had to go home and in many cases seclude themselves from their loved ones because they have high risks of exposure and are horrified about sharing it with others. They’ve taken drastic steps to keep their loved ones safe.

We should too. These men and women need our help, not just our thanks. They need each of us to step up and do our part to defeat this virus that has attacked every part of our lives.

There have been moments in our country’s history when citizens were drafted into service to meet an adversary on foreign soil.

This is different. This adversary is here, in our nation, in our state and in our community, and we are being called to serve. We have been drafted. Our heroes on the front line need us to not just offer our appreciation and support, but give our dedication by masking up, social distancing and taking precautions that have long been proven to prevent the spread of this disease.

Our frontline medical workers are tired. They are battered. But they are resilient. They are “the” Person of the Year for this year and many others.