The coronavirus epidemic has put a strain on the medical field all over the world. As each country takes care of its own during these horrible days, the US Army is pulling out all the stops by launching campaigns to bring back retired military servicemen and women back into active duty. This move is strictly voluntary at the moment, but can be mandatory if the situation worsens.
Lt. General Thomas C. Seamands, the Army’s deputy chief of staff, sent out messages to all eligible veterans to assist doctors and nurses who are exhausted from working around the clock, taking care of all the patients diagnosed with COVID-19.
The message reads, “The Army is turning to trusted professionals capable of operating under constantly changing conditions and reaching out to gauge the interest of those who qualify.”
The message continued as it was addressed to soldiers who are already enlisted and those who are retired officers. “When the Nation called, you answered, and now, that call may come again.”
Toward the end of last week, the United States surpassed the entire world with the most cases of COVID-19. Doctors and nurses are growing thin, and some are finding themselves with the virus. This is adding a shortage to the medical staff we currently have in place across the nation.
The National Guard and other branches of the military have been deployed to certain locations all across America. They are ready to assist in any way they are needed.
The Army made the announcement Tuesday they were dispatched to the hardest hit hospitals. Enlisted soldiers were sent to Washington and New York first and will go where the numbers are greater. They came from Fort Hood, Texas, Fort Carson Colorado, and Fort Cambell, Kentucky.
A list was put out in the announcement where they pointed out eight jobs in which soldiers and veterans are needed. “Critical care officer, anesthesiologist, nurse anesthetist, critical care nurse, nurse practitioner, emergency-room nurse, respiratory specialist, and medic.”
Seamands announcement continued, “If you are working in a civilian hospital or medical facility, please let us know. We do not want to detract from the current care and treatment you are providing to the Nation.”
As the Army is stressing for more to step up, Army spokesman Lt. Col. Emanuel L. Ortiz repeated the message to others in a statement. He said, “This information request will no way interfere with any care they may be providing to their communities, is for future planning purposes only, and is completely voluntary.”
With the Pentagon, the orders are there to line up the people necessary should their services be needed. It also shows the Pentagon is taking a worst-case scenario into perspective that the virus may surpass weeks into months. So far, over 9,000 veterans have dropped their names in the hat to serve the country.
With the substantial amount of volunteers, the best-case scenario has it as a draft may not be necessary. Air Force Brig. Gen. Paul Friedrichs, a doctor on the Pentagon’s Joint Staff, told reporters Wednesday there is no way to predict how the next three weeks will play out. Social distancing and other measures have been implemented to lessen the spread. It is mostly a wait and see effort at the moment.
Friedrichs told reporters, “If we stop doing the right thing today because we think something’s going to happen in four weeks, we will make this worse. What we need to do is focus on what we individually and collectively can do today to mitigate this outbreak.”
He continued, “It is a worrisome narrative that some people are openly questioning the public-health guidance. I don’t think it matters what day things start to get better, what matters is what we’re doing right now to mitigate this outbreak. I’m not sure how to say it any more clearly than that.”
Throughout these efforts, America and the world must realize we must all remain vigilant. If we cease to comply with the orders given by the government and authorities who are working to bring this all to an end, the entire human race is who becomes the loser in this battle. We all may know someone who has been affected by this illness or may even have it themselves.
Many take the virus seriously, but there are still some hard-headed people who refuse to listen. In the coming days, we will know more, we will grow, and together, we will win!