As part of the initiative, UNC REX doctors, nurses and staffers were treated to a delicious lunch from Ruckus Pizza. It's just what the doctor ordered for those on the frontlines of the pandemic.
"It's really heavy. It's straining not just physically with everybody pulling together. We're one great team...it's like a war effort, " clinical nurse manager Wayde Batt said.
The doctors and nurses at UNC REX are currently treating 70 COVID-19 patients, 25 of which are in the ICU.
"You go home every day and think about the patients you sent to the ICU and where they are and what's happening with their family," RN Millie McDonald said.
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This is why a nice meal and messages of encouragement from students and staff at Olive Chapel Elementary, West Lake Elementary and Cary Academy will go a long way.
"They recognize that the community supports them and is there for them," UNC REX President Ernie Bovio said.
"Just like little things like that, it really does help bring joy to the unit. It's something nice to talk about," McDonald said.
All the staff we spoke to said the biggest help the community could give is getting vaccinated. That would allow the whole country to put this pandemic behind us.
"Before people weren't really as nervous, they were like 'I'm young and I'm healthy, I'll be OK.' But it's not like that anymore and I think people have a hard time grasping even though you're young and healthy, Covid doesn't discriminate," RN Jackie D'Aleo said.
In addition to getting vaccinated, if you'd like to be part of the ABC11 push to thank healthcare workers, click here to send your own thank you message.