TEXAS, USA — Not all heroes wear capes, and that has never been more true than right now.
Doctors and nurses are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic here in the Permian Basin, fighting an enemy we cannot see.
As the COVID-19 case case count grows, brave men and women are putting themselves in the direct path of virus in order to help others.
“I just knew that I wanted to help those that were vulnerable and couldn’t help themselves since I was young," said Dr. Summer Merritt, a family physician with Four Seasons Health. "And who were in bad situations medically that I wanted to help them and help heal people.”
Dr. Merritt has helped start a new group of medical workers called Protect Our Frontline West Texas. It's a place where they can come together, talk resources, support and education.
“We decided to be our own advocates and be the advocates for our patients," Merritt said. "It’s to show patients what they can do to help their doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants stay safe.”
Healthcare workers are three times more likely to be infected with COVID-19 than the average person. That's part of the reason Dr. Merritt felt called to start the group.
“It’s to say stop, look, listen" Merritt said. "We’re people's doctors and nurses, and this is what we can do to help protect West Texans.”
Dr. Merritt says the biggest way people can protect themselves and the front line is simple: stay home.
“Hand washing is not enough, it's good but it is not enough," Merritt said. "People need to be aware that this is a community virus and that if they are not taking it seriously they are going to pass it on to people they love."
The mission of the group is simple, a united front of fighting the virus and protecting our front line.
“This is in no way asking for donations, it’s purely education for the public directly from the medical community," said Merritt.
Staying home and being aware, in this case, is just what the doctor ordered.
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