HARTSVILLE – With the increase in the number of COVID-19 patients, hospital workers are being taxed “mentally, physically and emotionally,” said a hospital spokesperson for Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center.
“We are definitely seeing an influx (of COVID patients). It is the worst so far,” said Miranda Peavy, marketing and communications coordinator Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center.
“Honk for Heroes” was organized by the Greater Hartsville Chamber of Commerce for Tuesday to show appreciation to these hospital workers. The community was asked to show up at the hospital with signs in support of the hospital’s frontline workers and the entire team of healthcare workers. The event was from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. during shift changes so that workers would be greeted in the parking lot as they got off of work.
Murphy Monk, president of the Greater Hartsville Chamber of Commerce, said the idea of “Honk for Heroes” was the result of a conversation during one of the Byerly Foundation’s weekly Zoom meetings taking place since the outbreak of COVID-19. She said someone on the call said workers were having a tough time, and this would be a way to show support. As a result of this conversation, Monk said she also sent out an email to her members and area churches asking them to find ways to say “thank you” to essential workers.
Monk said they want to let the workers know that their work doesn’t go unnoticed. This is one of several ways chamber members are showing support. Monk said she hopes to plan another “Honk for Heroes” for the morning shift from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. She said that would give students an opportunity to go by on their way to school and show appreciation.
Monk said one chamber member has responded by sending cupcakes; another is providing cookies for frontline workers.
“They didn’t know when they signed up to be a nurse that they were signing up to be a nurse during a global pandemic,’ Monk said.
Monk said she is trying to get groups to provide acts of kindness once a week to health care workers during the pandemic. She said it could be sending cards, cupcakes, cookies or other means of appreciation.
“We are trying to get the community involved and bring awareness that acts of kindness are needed,” she said.
“Our nurses need a reason to smile after a long week,” Peavy said.
She said they all need the community’s support to get through this difficult time.