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An open letter to the people of Wisconsin and Iowa

Hospital news | Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Wisconsin and Iowa, we love you. Many of us grew up here, others chose to live here. We all work to
serve you. We will do anything we can to take care of you. You are our neighbors and our
family.

Sometimes you have to have hard conversations with family.

Inside our hospitals, we have patients gasping for breath, needing a ventilator to survive and too
often dying. Many of them were walking around healthy just days before. Some tell us they
didn’t think COVID-19 was serious. Others say they just wanted to live their lives and get back
to normal.

Outside our hospitals, we still see big gatherings with no masks. We hear about Thanksgiving
dinner plans that will send even more people to our already very full COVID-19 units—units full
of patients who might not survive a fight with this virus.

Wisconsin is in a bad place right now with no sign of things getting better without action. We
are, quite simply, out of time. Without immediate change, our hospitals will be too full to treat all
of those with the virus and those with other illnesses or injuries. Soon you or someone you love
may need us, but we won’t be able to provide the lifesaving care you need, whether for COVID-
19, cancer, heart disease or other urgent conditions. As health care providers, we are terrified of
that becoming reality.

But like many families facing a crisis, we can rally together and take action to get through this
one. You’ve heard these recommendations a thousand times, but if the thousand and first time
makes an impact it’s all worth it. If you stop the spread to one person, it’s worth it:

• Avoid gatherings that put you at risk, not just with strangers but extended family
members too. Not just big parties and rallies, but happy hours, conferences and sporting
events.
• Wear a mask. They really do work, and they save lives, including your own.
• Wash your hands, often.

We don’t need to do this forever. We all await the arrival of vaccines that will help us get back to
some sense of normalcy. But the virus is here now and the vaccines are not.

Wisconsin and Iowa, you are our family. Our only hope right now is you. Please work with us to get
through this pandemic.

Signed,

Your friends at Crossing Rivers Health