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Fishaut: Time to express gratitude to San Juan County Health Dept.

  • Written by Mark Fishaut MD FAAP

The summer of 1940 saw the Battle of Britain, the aerial conflict between the Royal Air Force and the German Luftwaffe, reach its apex. When in this speech Churchill stated 'Never in the field of human conflict was so much been owed by so many to so few', he was paying tribute to the enormous efforts made by the fighter pilots and bomber crews to establish air superiority over England. The same can be said about the staff of the San Juan County Department of Health since the first days of the COVID pandemic.

The battle is far more insidious than the bombing of England but its impact is as far reaching in disruption of daily life, suffering, and consequences. Our friends and neighbors who are the Department of Health are today’s Spitfire pilots. It is easy to be frustrated that data and feedback about what is happening in our communities is not instantaneous.

Remember that the work itself comes first and that raw data without analysis is only that- data but not information. It is also all too easy to criticize the efforts of dedicated professionals when it does not meet one’s particular view of the world.

It is time for all of us to express our gratitude for their many months of what has often seemed like a thankless task. These are our fellow Islanders who have worked for what seems like 24 hours a day for going on 18 months.

Understand that in the midst of all this, they also are doing as much as possible to continue all their other services, such as maternal and child care, to our community even as their days are swallowed up keeping us safe from the virus. The work is far from done and much uncertainty lies ahead.

To paraphrase Lincoln at Gettysburg: ‘The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they have done here. It is for us, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.’

Please take the opportunity to say thank you to those working so hard on our behalf.

Mark Fishaut MD FAAP