In Judeo-Christian tradition, this is a time for joy and celebration, whether to honor the resurrection of Jesus Christ or the liberation of the Hebrew people from bonds of oppression in ancient Egypt.
Some say the word Easter comes from the Old English word ēostre. While the etymology is debated, some scholars associate this word with the month of April, a time when pagan Anglo-Saxons may have celebrated the coming of Spring and the powers of a fertility goddess.
Easter is also known as Pâques, which stems from the word Paschal, and the Hebrew word for Passover, Pesaḥ. The origin of this cherished holiday most likely comes from pre-Israelite celebrations of Spring and the first grain harvest.
This year, the COVID-19 pandemic brings a new significance to celebratory words. We celebrate doctors, nurses, first responders, and all those who are not health care providers but who do their share to bring this pandemic to an early end.
Most people stay home, self-isolate, and practice social distancing. Meanwhile, health care providers around the world toil each and every day to save and prolong lives. Scientists labor through 24-hour shifts in their quest for a cure and a possible vaccine. Countless professionals spend time away from their families to assure us food and other comforts. At the same time, government officials grapple with responsibilities to design and implement policies that keep us safe.
Our lives are changing and will continue to change. Hospital administrators must honor requests for negative pressure procedure suites and antechambers. Critical Care units will need more isolation rooms. Infectious disease specialists must share knowledge about infection control and personal protective equipment. Medical directors will practice disaster management skills. Outpatient clinics will embrace innovative Telehealth services.
Most importantly, we will be less complacent about warnings regarding global health.
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