As the COVID-19 pandemic impacts all of our lives in ways we never imagined, it’s appropriate that we will observe National Doctors’ Day on Monday, March 30.

Physicians in Mitchell and across the country are caring for patients suffering from this virus and doing all they can to work alongside our teams of caregivers. This is a strange and scary time. There are many things we do not yet know about COVID-19. There is no vaccine.

Doctors are human beings, and they — like all of us — are concerned about their health and that of their families.

Yet, they stand on the frontlines of protecting all our lives. If we fall sick, they will be there to provide care and comfort.

Let us take comfort in their dedication and use this as an opportunity to appreciate how blessed we are to have exemplary physicians who have chosen to practice in and around Mitchell.

We must also vow to help them. There are things we can do in our daily lives right now to reduce the chances that we will contract COVID-19:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

  • If you are sick, limit close contact with others as much as possible.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.

We are also asking volunteers for help with ensuring that we have enough masks should our community be hit hard during the pandemic. Visit avera.org/balance/learn how you can craft cloth face masks and donate them.

During this time, those are very real ways we can help our doctors. Those are real ways to thank them.

In the coming days, I invite you to join me in taking a moment to show gratitude to our local physicians — and all our health care workers. They have dedicated their lives to helping others, and the care they provide is a tremendous asset to our community. That’s been no more clear to us than now.