About three dozen people, including neighbors and a few members of the hospital staff, gathered outside Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, on Sunday afternoon to rally support for the staff inside battling coronavirus.
They applauded, cheered, rang bells and banged pots when they caught a glimpse of a hospital staff member. Ambulance attendants in full protective gear pulling up to the emergency room also drew rousing cheers.
Rally participants appeared to stand in family groups, keeping a safe distance between each group.
Some hoisted signs with appreciative slogans written on them.
One read “Stay Safe Heroes,” and another said “Thank you Health Care Workers.”
“Suburban Hospital has been here for a long, long time and we’re just so appreciative for all they do,” said Mark Ross, a neighbor of Suburban.
The coronavirus has caught hospitals, including Suburban, without adequate supplies of personal protective equipment for their staffs.
“We need to keep them healthy,” said Melchora Alexander, a physical therapist at Suburban who pointed to a donation station outside the hospital, facilitating the collection of much-needed gear.
“Swim goggles, wide goggles, welding goggles, basically any kind of goggles, as long as they’re new,” Alexander said. “They are also looking for hand sanitizer to keep them safe.”
“They are true heroes because, as my son says, they are our PPE — personal protective equipment,” Alexander added.