America has always been a nation that when called upon, would rise to challenges that are thrust before her, no matter what the cost or the sacrifice in an effort to conquer the evil before them. We have spilled our blood on distant shores, not to obtain territory for ourselves, but in the quest of a higher aspiration.
Generations before mine have risen and sent their bravest and sometimes youngest to free people from tyranny and oppression around the world. They would do so to stop genocide and provide those with the special gift of freedom that had never before been tested by so many men, women or children, in lands far from our shores. Recent generations have been called upon to fight terrorism in the deserts of the Middle East or in the mountains of Afghanistan at a great personal loss to families who continue, as families from other generations to honor their service and love of country.
We always did so, not because it was an easy task, but because it was one which would be a necessity for all of humanity, and because it was the right thing to do.
Today we face a challenge like no other of modern time. Our enemy has no face or no flag to attack under. It was as if it came from the writings of one of our science fiction authors. Whether this demon has risen up from the depths of our nightmares as a child, or from the imaginations of one of those writers, it has certainly captured the attention of the world.
It knows no boundaries or nationality. It spreads across borders and takes advantage of the weakest of our citizens with cruel vengeance.
We no longer live in a time devoid of knowledge or technology and although our enemy is a formidable foe, it will be defeated. It will not be an easy task, but one which requires every ounce of our resolve and necessitates the need for sacrifice, which will require we heed the direction of those taking the battle to this new enemy.
I was as dumbfounded as you when I first saw those film clips of young spring breakers, who would callously disregard the calls for minimal sacrifices on their part to help confine the spread of the virus. All this, while ignoring that advice with open disdain and contempt for the requests from officials to stop their reckless actions.
God only knows how many of those reckless individuals would bring this twenty–first–century plague back to their parents and grandparents, along with other innocent victims, without regard for the consequences of their reckless actions.
We can be proud, however, of the real heroes of this conflict. Some may be wearing lab coats and seeking to find the Achilles Heel of this new enemy. They toil day in and day out trying to understand the make-up and composition of this nasty little bug and will provide us the cure we so earnestly seek.
Another group who are working equally as hard are our healthcare professionals at all levels of that proud profession. Whether they are doctors, nurses, lab techs, radiologists or nurses’ aide, they all contribute to the care that our sick receive. They do so at great risk to themselves and to those they love at home. They get up every day and walk through those doors, behind which lie some of our most ailing of our citizenry.
We are fortunate that we have wonderful healthcare available to us on a 24/7 basis. I’ve been a recipient of some of that wonderful care and can speak volumes to the standard of excellence that they and their entire staffs aspire to. Whether it be the direct care one receives or to the administrative and clerical staff members who are seldom seen behind the scenes.
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t speak to the frontline of our defense. That frontline consists of a seamless team of First Responders, here in the Greater Collier County Community. The law enforcement professional may be the first member of that team you might have contact with, and he or she will do their best to control the scene to ensure the firefighter/paramedic arrives to do their initial work-up until the EMS-Paramedic rolls up with your ride to the hospital and provides the best advanced pre-hospital critical care available in the nation.
They carry out their jobs in the least controlled of any environment, but do so with great professionalism and pride, but also risk great exposure to themselves.
These are our heroes, the men and women in the labs, in the hospitals and on the frontlines with our first responders. They don’t hear the cheers in a colosseum, on a basketball court or on stage at a concert. They do their jobs day in and day out because it’s their calling.
They take on the tough jobs because they are built differently than those spring breakers complaining about their “party” being ruined. They take care of you when you can’t take care of yourselves and never complain that you cut into their “Happy Hour.”
They work endless hours trying to figure out the composition of these tiny microbes to find a clue as to how to protect our immune systems from their ravages. You’ll never see their names on the back of a sports jersey, but they don’t care.
The challenge that presented itself a few months ago in China will be successfully overcome with time and with the talent the world is bringing to bear on it today. We can do our part by following the guidelines being laid down for us by healthcare professionals and following their guidance as we work together to ensure our future is as bright as the Florida sunshine we all enjoy.