NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Gratitude for healthcare heroes on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic is profound, and many are finding ways to thank them, including some fellow first responders.
On Broadway outside hard-hit Elmhurst Hospital on Thursday, there was was an outsized expression of appreciation from New Yorkers in the form of a giant styrofoam “Thank you.”
Messages of thanks, an attitude of gratitude, took an interesting and noisy form behind the hospital on 41st Avenue. Port Authority Police officers used hospital-grade disinfectant and special aerosol blowers to sanitize almost a dozen vehicles, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
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The vehicles are used to transport hospital patients and staff members. It’s the kind of environment in which you really cannot be socially distant.
Transport driver Luis Gonzalez said he’s worried about conditions in his van and is grateful.
“Safety for our staff members and the patients that we transport, so it’s good that they come and do this,” Gonzalez said.
Port Authority police lost 37 members on 9/11, so they sympathize with the danger and heartache healthcare workers are now enduring.
“This is 9/11 in a whole different magnitude, affecting the whole country. We’re just humbled to try to help them,” Port Authority PBA President Paul Nunziato said.
“They should be treated like rock stars. They’re definitely superheroes. They’re the very front line,” said Carlos Morales of the Port Authority Police.
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The Port Authority PBA went a step beyond disinfecting. It donated equipment and gallons of cleaner so hospital staff can continue to sanitize vehicles and work stations.
“We get thank yous from all around the country and all around the world, and help like this really goes a long way,” said Elmhurst Hospital’s Anthony Jarzemeowski.
The world wants to say thanks, including a man named “Wilmer,” who drove up and offered an impromptu serenade in Spanish, singing everything is going to be all right.