Can we put aside our politics for a moment and consider our family, friends and neighbors involved in healthcare and related professions?

Try to forget about conspiracy theories for a moment. Disregard those ugly social media posts criticizing the unvaccinated or challenging the intelligence of the vaccinated. If you are mad at Joe Biden, Andy Beshear, members of the state legislature or any politician past, present or future, temporarily stifle your anger.

Focus, if you can, solely on doctors and nurses trying to extend lives and relieve suffering. Think about the countless orderlies and assistants, janitors and food service staff responsible for doing their part of keep people healthy. Consider, if you will, the transcriptionists, bookkeepers and other clerical workers working every day in hospitals, doctor’s offices and long-term care facilities.

It’s a difficult time for them all.

When the pandemic arrived last year, most of us cheered for the healthcare workers on the front lines with limited information and a shortage of protective gear doing all they knew how to battle the COVID-19 coronavirus. They were hailed as heroes and rightly so.

But they are not superheroes. These people face daily risks and often voluntarily isolate themselves from others to minimize the risk of inadvertently passing along this horrific virus.

Let’s stop trolling the internet for a chance to spread our personal expertise about COVID or to criticize someone else’s opinion and unite again in support of these medical workers.

Remember, it’s not just hospital staff on the COVID ward who face extra risks. It’s people in every doctor’s office plus dental technicians with their gloved hand in your mouth or eye doctors working inches from your face. It’s physical therapists, pharmacists, internist, obstetrician, psychiatrist, radiologist and any number of others working alongside them.

This is a stressful time for them all. They need and deserve our support and our smiles — even when your grin is concealed by a mask they can see it in your eyes.

Don’t badger them with questions about horse dewormers, false positives or secret tracking devices hidden in the vaccines.

Demonstrate compassion. Express appreciation. And generally act in a way that would make your parents proud.

We need more of that type of response to this pandemic. And our healthcare workers deserve it.

This editorial reflects a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.

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