‘Stay at home for us’: Health care workers post pleas for social distancing amid COVID-19

Health care workers are urging the public to do their part amid the COVID-19 pandemic, asking everyone to practice social distancing through photos holding signs that read, “stay home for us.”

On March 18, Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minnesota posted a collage of health care professionals holding signs that read, “I stayed at work for you, you stay at home for us.”

The post has garnered thousands of shares and was followed by dozens of social media posts from health care workers at other facilities with similar pleas for people to take the pandemic seriously. 

“We made the sign because we wanted to reinforce how important it is to stay home right now to minimize the spread of COVID-19, and flatten the curve,” said Dr. Kirsten Shaw, M.D., of Abbott Northwestern Hospital.

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“It is certainly a more stressful time in hospitals and clinics, but all health care workers are working hard, and working together, to prepare for what is to come,” Shaw said. “We also wanted to show our support for all of our fellow health care workers who are coming to work every day and doing everything they can to take care of our community.”

Amid reports of people failing to follow successful social distancing protocols amid mass shutdowns across the U.S. to stop the spread of the virus, the hashtag “#StayHome” has begun circulating widely on social media.

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On March 16, the White House suggested that public gatherings be limited to no more than 10 people for the next 15 days. The CDC recommended canceling or postponing in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the U.S.

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Doctors, nurses and physicians have done whatever it takes to get the message out that staying home can save lives. 

The official Twitter account for the Ministry of Health in Malaysia also posted a photo of its hospital workers holding a sign that reads, “stay home.” 

One TikTok video shows a doctor holding a sign that says, “we also have family but can’t stay home,” while another doctor comes into view with a sign that says, “we are exposed to everything for you!”

As world governments and health care systems become increasingly overwhelmed by mounting COVID-19 cases, social distancing has risen to the top of the list in the arsenal to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

A growing fear of epidemiologists amid the threat of the pandemic is the serious consequences that could result from a lack of proactivity in stopping further spread of the virus by failing to enact crucial precautionary measures.

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The vast majority of people who get sick recover from the illness, which could lead some to wonder why measures like a travel ban or cancellations of mass gatherings are necessary.

Simply put, social distancing, event cancellations, working from home and self quarantines are not only about preventing the illness itself, but rather, slowing the rate at which people get sick.