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.
Prior to his current role, Brother Collings worked the Registration desk at a local Emergency Room. He remembers the ER being a ghost town early in the Pandemic. However, by June the ER was busier than it had ever been. People shifted from being fearful of contracting the virus to overridden with anxiety that they were infected. The uptick in patients quickly became challenging for all hospital staff as they, too, were trying to adapt to the ever-changing protocols and procedures: A task that swiftly became taxing as personal protection equipment was hard to obtain.
Now as a Case Investigation Lead working within San Antonio, Texas, Brother Collings assists families who have received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Through the support of UTHealth, the city, and the CARES Act, families are offered shelter, food, and other basic necessities in order to adhere to the strict fourteen-day quarantine policy. Collings has found himself inspired through this process and more committed than ever to his passion for Public Health. He notes that despite the negativity and fear surrounding the virus, he has witnessed a great deal of good; food pantries have been established all over the city with shelves consistently stocked with food and an overwhelming number of people volunteering. When asked how he would describe the past few months, Brother Collings simply replied with “resiliency in the face of adversity.”
It is no surprise that his advice to fellow Brothers is uplifting and encouraging:
“Keep your spirits up! Don’t let everything get you down; focus on the positive of this experience. It may be difficult right now, but for public health [social distancing] is what needs to happen.”
Michael Collings, Iota Theta 2020
Case Investigation Lead | UTHealth School of Public Health
Above: Brother Collings has pulled double time since his graduation this year as a Frontline Hero and as a graduate student pursuing an advanced degree in public health.