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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Choosing Who We Will Be in This Season of Hope

As the year draws to an end, we should be grateful to the health care workers and look forward with optimism. Two recent items reflect this spirit.

The Veterans Administration recently commissioned The Good Listening Protect to interview 200 health care workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic and produce a poem. The project authored the poem, “Who Will We Choose to Be,” after interviewing Michael A. Gelman, MD PhD, an infectious disease specialist for the Veterans Administration and founder of Pandemic Preparedness Experts LLC.


Who Will We Choose to Be?

By Jenny Hegland


Now is the time

Of moral imperative;

We won’t have another

Before carnage

Comes again.


So, let’s be the ones

Who can say

When it does,

We rose

From the wreckage

To be ready


Jenny Hegland, a creative facilitator, coach, and social entrepreneur whose life’s work centers around community engagement, participatory leadership, and social justice commented after interviewing  Dr. Gelman, “He’s been working at the epicenter of the Pandemic in New York City. He leads infection control efforts and sees COVID as an important opportunity to learn and prepare for what’s still to come. 


Dr. Gelman stated, “The next Pandemic likely won’t look like this one. The bigger and broader we are able to think, the faster we’ll be able to do the work that the CDC and the FDA haven’t been able to do.“


“There is work that we’re in a position to do as the largest health system in the country if we can be agile enough. I’m most proud of the work I’ve done in informatics and working with our folks in the labs to generate large amounts of data so we can harness the energy of this pandemic wave to generate evidence that will allow us to do better. 


“There is no guarantee it will be another hundred years before we see the next Pandemic. The world is changing, and we have a moral imperative to be ready,” Dr. Gelman said.


Emerging on the horizon is 2021, which is a season of hope.

As President-Elect Biden remarked:


“We’re especially grateful to the health care workers on the frontlines — the scientists, researchers, and clinical trial participants on the frontiers of the vaccine who delivered a scientific breakthrough.”


“….we’re ready for a season of hope.

As a nation, we have certainly been shaken to our depths this year.

Now it’s time to awaken, to get moving — for hope.

We’ve gotten through tough times before in this nation.

And we’ll get through these difficult times as well.

And we’ll do it by coming together by working with one another.

By being what we are at our best — the United States of America.”


Best wishes for a Happy Holiday Season and a Healthy, and Hopeful New Year.


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Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  jon@gelmans.com  has been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

Blog: Workers ' Compensation

Twitter: jongelman

LinkedIn: JonGelman

LinkedIn Group: Injured Workers Law & Advocacy Group

Author: "Workers' Compensation Law" West-Thomson-Reuters