I'm a medical student at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford. The COVID-19 pandemic put my schooling on hold, so back in early April, I fought back. I joined the Medical Reserve Corps of Winnebago County.
My family in Taiwan had kept me informed of COVID-19 in China, and I understood the importance of accurate data to formulate evidence-based policies. However, the absence of a well-coordinated response between federal and state governments resulted in many health departments being poorly equipped to gather data and contact trace. Luckily, myself and many others understood the situation.
Over the last 10 weeks, I have volunteered alongside retired nurses, engineers, social workers, insurance auditors, medical students, pharmacy students, undergraduate students, practicing physicians and nurses, professors, and other concerned citizens. At the time of my writing, volunteers have collectively spent over 1,900 hours providing guidance to thousands of COVID-19 positive individuals and assisting at the Auburn High School testing site. Despite the recent announcement of hiring new staff by the health department by month's end, there remains much work to be done in the meantime. I predict there will be more work for volunteers to do, even after the hirings.
So, if you can spare three or four hours of your day to volunteer, consider volunteering with your local medical reserve corps. Your work will help limit the spread of COVID-19 within our community.
I'm Titus Hou, and that's my Perspective.