Honoring our Frontline Heroes: In March when most businesses and governments closed and our nation went into quarantine, those on the front lines in their roles as healthcare workers, educators, retail staff, first responders, and other essential service providers were thrust into hero status overnight. As men who uphold the values of Truth, Honor, and Personal Integrity, it is no surprise that multitudes of Chi Phi Brothers of all generations are among these Frontline Heroes. Our mission now is to thrust as many of these Brothers as possible into the spotlight, so that we can properly recognize them for the work they do.
Though he initially thought that COVID-19 would not have much of an impact here in the United States, Michael LeBlanc quickly realized that would, unfortunately, not be the case.
As harrowing stories from Italy began to emerge, the hospital in which he serves as an Emergency Department Nurse quickly began changing protocols, updating policies, and trying to secure necessary resources. However, once he and the staff treated the first COVID-19 positive patient, everything changed even more drastically.
Medical personnel immediately started wearing masks (even though patients were not yet asked to do the same), and staff began to question how best to utilize the limited resources they had. The main concern was that the hospital only had three negative pressure rooms, which are necessary for intubation. Needless to say, it was not long until the overwhelming impact of this virus hit hard.
Unfortunately, Brother LeBlanc tested positive to COVID-19 in April after treating an asymptomatic patient. He, his wife, and two young daughters all contracted the virus and spent weeks suffering from stomach pains, fatigue, and nasal congestion. While Brother LeBlanc has returned to work after being out for a month, hospital staff are to this day still testing positive to the virus. LeBlanc’s message to family, friends, and fellow Brothers is simple:
“Wash your hands and wear your mask. Keep gatherings limited in both frequency and number of those attending.”