Editorial: Grateful for Ohio National Guard

A recent editorial by the Marietta Times:

Editorial: Grateful to National Guard, but we could help too

Last week, members of the Ohio National Guard found out they were getting a deployment for Christmas. Gov. Mike DeWine announced he was mobilizing 1,050 members to hospitals across the state where help is needed in tackling COVID-related staffing shortages.

According to Axios, more than 4,700 people were hospitalized in Ohio for COVID-19, at the time of DeWine’s announcement. That is approximately 20% of hospital patients in the state — the highest number this year, and “rapidly approaching an all-time high,” the governor’s office said.

As the omicron variant threatens to increase the already overwhelming volume of patients seen in our state’s hospitals, the staffing shortages will only become a bigger problem. Burnout suffered by those who have been working on the front line of this pandemic for nearly 2 years now is very real. They can use all the help they can get.

So, 1,050 National Guard members, including 150 who are highly trained medical professionals, according to Axios, are on their way to help. The rest will be helping with patient transport, housekeeping and food services. Their duty began Monday — five days before Christmas.

While we are grateful there are those among us willing to take on such a responsibility, no matter what time of year the need arises, it is a shame we know there are still too many not doing all they can to stop the spread of this monster.

Still, our thanks go out to the members of the Ohio National Guard willing, as always, to answer the call.

— Marietta Times, Dec. 23