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The Age of First Responders

Now more than ever, the essential work the people in these fields perform should never be forgotten or go unappreciated.

We elevate our heroes in times of crisis.

While that is a noble characteristic that demonstrates our intrinsic ability to recognize and reward those at the forefront who serve and sacrifice in the name of the greater good, it is also slightly disappointing to realize that it takes a large-scale event or tragedy before we become enlightened.

Law enforcement and firefighters received that level of widespread deserved recognition and respect following the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. Yet now we are facing a new type of threat, and we are seeing a new age of first responders written in the pages where history records deeds of courage and selfless determination.

Medical responders and personnel are the face of the new emergency wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, and awareness of the important work they contribute to the health and well-being of our communities, our state and our nation will hopefully be something that ceaselessly continues to resonate with citizens.

However, there are others who also should be considered the vital new first responders in this pandemic, such as those affiliated in the research and scientific communities who are feverishly working to develop therapeutics and vaccines that will provide protections from future devastations to our health as well as our economy.

Another group of new first responders deserving overdue appreciation are those working in the mental health community. These are people who have dedicated their lives to providing assistance to those suffering issues that have long been stigmatized and kept out of open and honest public discourse. With so many now feeling isolated, alone and helpless, the work they perform is more important than ever.

We are not dismissing the extraordinary effort of those who manufactured products, drove the trucks down the highway, kept grocery stores running, delivered food or raised money for much-needed nonprofits, but this issue of 517 Magazine is dedicated to overall health and medicine. Now more than ever, the essential work the people in these fields perform should never be forgotten or go unappreciated.

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