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Push to honor 'healthcare heroes' urges folks to keep up holiday lights

'We know they’re tired, but they just keep on going'
Posted at 5:37 PM, Jan 01, 2021

RICHMOND, Va. -- If you were thinking about taking down your holiday lights on the first weekend of 2021, a local hospital system has a suggestion: keep them up.

HCA Virginia is asking people to keep their holiday lights up and on to show support and solidarity with healthcare workers who have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic for nine months now.

“So as their driving to work or driving home from work — it gets dark so early and gets dark earlier all the time — they can enjoy your beautiful lights, know that you’re thinking about them on the frontlines of our hospitals 24/7,” said Jan Gannon, HCA Virginia's Chief Nursing Officer.

We may be in a new year, but with new case counts and hospitalizations related to COVID-19 continuing to spike following the holiday season, healthcare workers will not be leaving the pandemic back in 2020.

“There are so many unknown variables affecting our healthcare workers, our nurses, our clinicians, our physicians. What are we going to do about childcare? How do we get to and from work safely? We know they’re tired, but they just keep on going,” Gannon said.

Here’s how to get involved in the campaign, per HCA Virginia:

  1. Delay taking down your holiday lights until Jan. 31.
  2. Help spread this message.
  3. Share photos of your neighborhood or your own home Keep Your Lights Up for Healthcare Heroes to your social media accounts with the hashtag #LightsUp4Heroes and a tag to your local healthcare facility.
  4. If you know one personally, thank your Healthcare Heroes for all they are doing to end this pandemic and treat those who are fighting this virus in our hospitals, doctors offices, and at home.
  5. And please send a message of support to our HCA Virginia hospital staff (or Healthcare Heroes at any doctor's office or hospital--this is not about HCA Virginia employees alone. We want EVERY Healthcare Hero to feel our communities' gratitude).

New homeowners Rebecca Fischer and Alexander Lawson had designs to take down their holiday lights until they heard about the campaign. Now, they’ll keep up their lights for an extra month, calling the campaign a “win-win.”

“Spread a little happiness, a little joy, keep those warm, positive thoughts about the holiday season,” Fischer said.

“Yeah, helps support procrastination,” Lawson joked.

All jokes aside, the couple said they hope their lights can serve as a little spark for those who see the toll of the pandemic each and every day.

“Most of my family works in healthcare, my dad works at MCV. So I just want to say thanks for everything that they do for the community, for making sure the community is safe, working all those extra hours, and all the things they have to go through. It’s been a really tough time for a lot of them,” Lawson said.