In one 48-hour period, more than 500 physicians and advance practice providers connected to a healthcare staffing firm saying they are ready for assignments to fight the pandemic, the CEO Natasha Lee told me recently. Among those were clinicians the company had already been in contact with as well as retired professionals as well as ex-military and ready to hit the ground running.

“It’s impressive to me the commitment and willingness to be on the front lines,” Lee said.  As the Covid-19 pandemic rages on and many professionals work from home amid government orders, healthcare providers such as doctors and nurses are stepping into the fray. They are on the front lines, putting themselves at risk to save lives. And many are     traveling to virus “hot spots,” often leaving behind their own families and

loves ones to take care of the afflicted. And they are doing so despite being anxious about staying safe, among other concerns.

“The [shortage of protective] equipment has probably been the biggest concern overall,” Lee said. However, “the facilities are doing the best they can to obtain more equipment and make sure it’s being used properly.” In one case, a facility has a person assigned to walk around and make sure equipment is available and being used.

Travel has also been an experience. Clinicians are still able to travel for assignments, although it may involve less direct routes and more layovers. One person mentioned being one of seven passengers on a large aircraft when traveling for an assignment.

Meanwhile, the appreciation others have for healthcare workers has been evident. Of course, they already enjoyed a         

good reputation even before the Covid-19 pandemic. A poll by the Pew Research Center found that 74% of Americans said they had a mostly positive view of doctors. And this week happens to be National Public Health Week.

There’s no denying the Covid-19 crisis is a terrible situation, and many healthcare workers who are taking up the fight are also taking their stories to social media. Some posts or tweets are more serious, whether they are asking for masks, imploring others who can to just stay home, or sharing their sorrow over lost patients.

But some share their triumph as well. In one, a medical team does a dance every time somebody recovers from Covid- 19 well enough to be taken off a ventilator.

We may be in the middle of a pandemic, but we’re also witness to amazing displays of humanity. While I focus on healthcare providers here, there are many other workers who cannot stay home. To them and others on the frontline, we say thanks.

Craig Johnson

Craig Johnson is senior managing editor at Staffing Industry Analysts.