‘My husband is out there on the front lines with nothing protecting him while the rest of the world is panicking and quarantining.’: Woman says pharmacies experiencing ‘loophole our government has missed’

“A letter to our country from a pharmacist’s wife:

Please say a prayer for our pharmacists and their staff. While the rest of the world is panicking and quarantining…my husband is out there on the front lines with nothing protecting him. He always works tirelessly for the rest of world, but this is a time where precautions for all pharmacies have not been put in place. It’s a loophole that sadly our government has missed. While all hospital workers have extra protocols and safety measures put in place, restaurants and public gatherings have been cancelled and all other workers have some sort of extra precautions; pharmacies are business as usual (plus thousands of panicked and sick patients). For all healthcare workers it’s extra time on the clock right now, not working from home. Anyone who knows Brian, knows he would give his shirt off his back to help anyone. And he chose this job because he passionately loves helping people and making them feel the most comfortable when they are sick or in need.

Suzanne C. Photography

When people are sick, the first place they stop is their local pharmacy. They ask simple questions and determine the best OTC regimen, or they send you to the doctor’s office or hospital. Currently, many people are sick. The drastic change in weather coupled with allergies and a late regular flu season has people coming into pharmacies very sick. There are several people that I’ve witnessed come into the pharmacy (instead of the drive thru) and been in no shape to be exposed to others. As I watched them speak, I heard their answers… ‘I don’t have enough money to be in the hospital in isolation for 14 days. What would that insurance bill be? I don’t want a positive test that keeps me quarantined at home.’ If you all ask yourselves if you would go to the hospital for being so sick, would those answers affect your decision to be tested for Covid-19? I think for a lot of society, it may.

I say this because these people with terrible coughs and fevers are exposing everyone in the pharmacy with no diagnosis. They are scared like the rest of the world in addition to being sick. For the others in there that are sick picking up medicine (and because of all the frenzy), there is not readily available hand sanitizer left for the public to use as they checkout. This is a global issue among all pharmacies right now, and it is putting our elderly, immunocompromised and pregnant patients at an increased risk to contract Covid-19.

Many people only go to the pharmacy if they are sick. However, most of our country relies on daily medication to keep them alive. Whether it be blood pressure medicine, diabetes maintenance, or mental health prescriptions- there are so many patients that cannot live without their medication.

You may not realize this, but pharmacists and their staff are not readily replaceable. Depending on the store, there are 2 regular pharmacists that rotate and 4-6 technicians that are full time employees. There are a few floater pharmacists available for when there is sickness or vacation, but the technicians are invaluable to getting medicine filled. If pharmacists and workers get sick right now, it will wipe out entire locations for at least two weeks. Put that in perspective. Can you go another two weeks without your medicine if locations start becoming shut down because of Covid-19?

If you are sick and too scared to go to the hospital, I beg you to call your doctor on the phone or go through the drive thru at the pharmacy for the protection of my husband, his staff and the rest of the country who relies on medicine to live. No one is equipped right now for our world’s largest medicine distribution centers to go down… I can assure you that our pharmacists getting sick and whole pharmacy closures would be an even bigger catastrophe than the current pandemic of Covid-19.

Prayers to all,

Melissa Kurz”

Suzanne C. Photography

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Melissa Kurz, 34, of St. Augustine, Florida. Follow her journey on Instagram hereDo you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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