(Photo / Joyanne Longmore)

Among the of essential workers during the growing coronavirus pandemic, frontline health care workers near the top – and Victorians have recently shown them that their hard work and dedication during these trying times has not gone unnoticed.

The people that make up our best defence to contain and mitigate this epidemic also face the highest risk of becoming infected themselves: patient-facing health care workers.

How to best support, manage, and protect these individuals – which includes not just physicians but also nurses, emergency responders, food service workers, and all staff interacting with patients – remains an open question, but a few compassionate locals have been trying to show their gratitude the only way they know how.

Stationed at the entry to the parking lots at Victoria General Hospital, several supporters – including children – have been holding handmade signs expressing their heartfelt thanks to staff coming and going from the hospital.

Some read “Honk if you are thankful”, and others simply said, “Thank you”, but the message was clear – the people of Victoria see and appreciate all that the frontline health workers are accomplishing right now, and want them to know it.

In a Facebook post in response to the signs, one VGH nurse says, “Your signs showing support and simple “thank you” heart signs the children were holding made me tear up. From the nurses at VGH – thank YOU. That little act of kindness will be felt throughout the hospital. With people like you, we will get through this together.”

A fundraiser for emergency room doctors and nurses has been created to raise funds to purchase protein bars, caffeinated beverages and treats (that are individually wrapped).

The GoFundMe states, “My spouse is a physician (not ER) and on busy days he tells me there is no time to go grab lunch. I want to help feed as many ER docs and nurses as possible during this extremely busy and stressful time.”

You can donate here.