The coronavirus pandemic is deadly and scary to all peoples of the world. There has been nothing like it since the influenza pandemic of 1918 and 1919. In a Wall Street Journal commentary entitled, “The Germs That Transformed History”, by Jared Diamond, he writes, “The germs behind the pandemic weren’t especially lethal. Covid-19 and the flu both fall within the normal range of mild infectious diseases. Compared with smallpox and Ebola, they kill only a small percentage of their victims, and their person-to-person transmissibility isn’t unusual. What sets them apart—what has made them world-wide pandemics—is modern transportation: fast steamships for the flu, and now jet airplanes for Covid-19.” But regardless of how it spreads, it is very deadly, especially for the elder generation, however it is defined.
When a person is cognizant of the dangers of the coronavirus, or any deadly disease, what instills in that person the desire to put themselves in harm’s way? What drives a person to share his or her life-saving skills to help other people? Why does a person leave familiar surroundings and go to a foreign society of strangers? Does that sound familiar, because that is exactly what so many Americans have done in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, and all the wars raging in the Middle East. You go because you are an American and your country calls.
Her country called and that is exactly why emergency room nurse at St. Vincent’s hospital, Amy Lennon responded. When the call went out for nurses to serve a growing need in New York City, Amy, just as those warriors did before her, answered the call of duty. Knowing that nurses, doctors and first responders were acquiring the deadly coronavirus, she left the comfortable confines of Kokomo and travelled to New York City to do what nurses do, serve and protect. I don’t personally know Amy, but I have for her great admiration. What she has done takes tons of intestinal fortitude.
Can anyone imagine what Amy has experienced in this totally volunteer assignment? I am sure she only now is able to process the horrible events that re-shaped her life forever. Seeing helpless patients die with no friends or relatives there to give them comfort, and not being able to help patients because there is no vaccine. In an article by Te-Ping Chen in the “Wall Street Journal” he stated, “a 39-year-old nurse at Mt. Sinai South Nassau Hospital has been deployed to an intensive care unit with Covid-19 patients. He has seen as many as four patients die on a shift, something that is particularly heartbreaking because they are passing away alone.” A sad commentary.
All American first responders have gone to their particular war and carried out their duties with courage and determination. But Amy Lennon is my hero even though I have never had the pleasure of meeting this brave American. Amy responded to New York City’s need for crisis relief nurses and served at the Coney Island Hospital in the emergency room for 21 days. I first became aware of Amy volunteering for duty in New York through the local newspaper. The coverage was excellent, but I thought Amy deserved a special recognition for her exemplary service to her fellow man.
I know every person in Kokomo and Howard County feels the same about Amy Lennon, MSN, ER nurse, and great American. She deserves a heartfelt thanks for a mission accomplished under difficult circumstances. Amy, you are a true warrior.