The USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) is one of the two U.S. Navy Hospital Ships that are going to be deployed to New York City and to San Francisco in an effort to provide further space, beds and high-quality medical help to those areas. The other will be the USNS Repose (AH-16).
I once read somewhere that, because we have a Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, we ought to have as its counterpart a Statue of Responsibility in San Francisco Bay. This would model and honor the natural relationship between freedom and responsibility. This natural relationship has, for a long time now, been seemingly forgotten in many ways in all aspects of our culture and daily lives. The evidence of this is everywhere before us, but it may be that this current pandemic crisis has a silver lining that is beginning to make that relationship evident to us again. It is ironic how sometimes it takes a crisis to bring us back to ourselves.
While we are seeing some “panic” behaviors like hoarding, we are seeing even more incidences where people are helping one another. For example, younger people offering to shop for older people who are the most at-risk age group. Just cooperating with the social distancing guidelines, and in doing so, looking out for the health of others, is making an impact on the virus’ growth. It is also having surprising effects on things like steep declines in pollution around the world.
The fact remains, though, that the crisis is still on the rise and there is a growing need for hospital beds for those currently experiencing the symptoms of the coronavirus and for the expected rise in numbers of patients and the need for more beds in the near future. As a result, the Navy’s Hospital Ships have been called up for duty here at home. I believe that the USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) has already been deployed to NYC.
This video, made last year before this pandemic event was known to the world, will give you a sense of the capabilities and the capacities that these ships possess. They have aboard them the highly trained medical personnel of the Navy’s Hospital Corp, Nurse Corps and Doctors. They are technologically sophisticated, and self-contained. They have the latest equipment and can even manufacture their own oxygen supplies. If the need continues to rise, they will certainly be a great adjunct to the medical services being provided currently by the hospitals in NYC and in the San Francisco Bay area.
The Veterans Site sends its thanks to those who serve on the two USNS Hospital Ships. We pray that you will all stay safe, strong and healthy as you serve in this new effort. We pray also for the swift end to this threat to the world at this time.
The VA Denied Hundreds Of Thousands Of Veterans Mental Health Care Because Of ‘Bad Paper' Policies: Click “Next” below!
Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.