According to recent media reports out of New York City, the nation’s current epicenter for the coronavirus pandemic, police and fire fighters there are being infected at alarmingly high rates.
As of Tuesday, 129 officers of the New York Police Department and 46 firefighters from the New York Fire Department have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Officials are investigating why so many have caught the virulent virus, but I think I have a pretty good idea.
First responders are conditioned to run in when everyone else is running out. They regularly put their lives on the line, sacrificing their safety in order to save others.
Of course, this doesn’t mean police and fire fighters shouldn’t take necessary precautions or unnecessarily expose themselves to the lethal contagion. But it reflects the sacrificial nature of our public servants. Their first instinct is to help others.
Law enforcement officials, particularly police, have received a lot of criticism in recent years. It’s true that a few have violated their badge, but the vast majority are honest, upstanding – and courageous. They deserve our respect.
Few of us can fully appreciate what it must be like to go to work and face danger on a daily basis. It’s bad enough to disarm someone with a gun or face flames, but in this season of uncertainty, what about a coughing man with chest pains?
Is it the coronavirus or a coronary? Or both?
How does a firefighter extract someone from a burning car without exposing themselves to the risk of the virus?
I suspect we all know someone in law enforcement or other emergency services.
Pray for them.
They deserve our respect every day, not just in the age of COVID-19.
It’s always been tough to serve in law enforcement or as a firefighter, but I suspect this current pandemic makes it harder still.
As we find our way through this crisis, let’s continue to lift up these wonderful men and women who serve as our country’s first responders. Let’s pray for the recovery of those infected, particularly those in New York City.
There is no substitute for the brave warriors who sacrificially and selflessly help in times of great challenge. I’m grateful that where there is need, you will always find men and women willing to stand up and serve – even at great personal cost.