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Local healthcare workers helping you cope with the Coronavirus

From the Local 5 Digital Desk

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Living through a global pandemic causes an undeniable level of uncertainty and some local healthcare workers have stepped up.

Coming up with creative ways to inform the community on the latest Coronavirus statistics, provide tips to alleviate anxiety, and one uses what little free time she has creating masks.

“I don’t consider myself a hero,” says Dr. Mendoza-Ayala an Aurora Bay Care Medical Center Pulmonologist. “I think heroes are the ones doing all the work in the community, sacrificing their daily lives.”

While he may not consider himself a hero, Dr. Mendoza is using his platform to educate the public with live Q & A sessions posted bi-weekly on his Facebook page.

The Q & A’s started out because of Dr. Mendoza’s interest in educating his friends and family. More and more of his viewers started asking questions and encouraging him to do more lives and according to him, it started snowballing into what it is today. The lives focus mostly on local and State numbers of Coronavirus cases, including trends to educate people on why things are happening.

Being educated on the latest numbers and trends is important to many. Acupuncturist from Aurora Medical Center in Oshkosh, Steven Mui, says it’s also key to take a mental and physical break from the data and release anxieties.

Mui teaches weekly Tai Chi and Qi Gong classes on his Facebook page, recently adding guided meditation. “We’re all sort of stuck in this experience together,” he says. “Having the information, like what Dr. Mendoza is doing is good… the meditations and exercises are just one way for people to process that information and work out that frantic energy.”

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Some healthcare workers are using the time to make masks for organizations, family, friends, and co-workers.

Catherine Vollmer, Radiologic Technician at Aurora Health Center in Fond du Lac, tested positive for COVID-19 in late April, says “It was scary.” As a healthcare worker, she says she mentally prepared herself for the possibility of contracting the virus, “…but probably not enough.”

She says her symptoms started as those of a bad cold but as soon as she lost her sense of taste and smell, she knew what it was and went to get tested.

After getting treatment and fully recovering from her diagnosis, she said she saw a post about convalescent plasma being evaluated to treat patients with serious or life-threatening COVID-19 infections. She said she knew she had to help, “There was no doubt I would get involved.”

In coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the American Red Cross is organizing the program. Aurora Advocate is also taking part.

Vollmar has since used her time to create fabric masks for basically everyone she knows, including organizations. She uses a variety of patterns, including local sports team logos, to give people fun ways to stay safe while expressing themselves.

Mui says a quote from the Bahá’í writings has inspired him to stay the course, “To be generous in prosperity and thankful in adversity.”

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