FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — For nurses and doctors at area hospitals, some of the days are grueling and grim.
"You know, sometimes you can feel anxious coming into work right now," Jill Passarelli, a Clinical Director at INOVA Fairfax Hospital, said.
However, those caring for COVID-19 patients are focused on one bright spot to get them through tough moments: recognition from people in the community.
"It’s nurses week this week, but it has felt like nurses week every week since this started," Passarelli said. "Obviously, we didn't sign up for this recognition. It's not why you got into this job, but it’s really nice to feel the support from the community."
The show of support has largely been in the form of food.
Adding to the table this time is Westwood Country Club in Vienna. The club’s Food and Beverage Director, Janie Mathieson, said they couldn’t stand idly by.
"When you watch TV, you feel kind of helpless, like, 'what can I do?'" Mathieson said.
Some of Westwood’s leaders and members have seen the impact of coronavirus.
"Unfortunately, a very close friend of ours passed away," Mathieson said.
"One of my mentors in New York, he actually has had COVID," the club's Executive Chef, Jose Leon, continued. "Going to the grocery right now, it's an adventure on what you can eat, what you can find and how long you're going to be there."
They decided food drop-offs would be the best way to show those putting themselves directly in harm’s way how much they care, hoping it will help make nurses' lives a little easier.
"We have a fair number of patients who come in from nursing homes,” Westwood’s Board President and Chairman of Orthopedic Surgery at INOVA Fairfax Hospital, Dr. Bob Hymes, said. "Westwood members are regular people. We live and work in the community and we’re all impacted either directly or indirectly. So the idea of how we can help our fellow citizens was a no-brainer -- the club stepped up."
For now, they're pledging 1,250 meals to be delivered over the course of several weeks at area hospitals as well as the Vienna Police and Fire Departments.
"We all feel good about that and maybe it does alleviate some of the guilt of not being able to assist in any other way," Westwood’s General Manager, Bryan Stone, said.