As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise across the country, people are stepping up to do their part to help combat the pandemic. Here in Washington, D.C., nearly 70 volunteers showed up at this armory to join the Medical Reserve Corps.
"We have partnered with the Department of Health to facilitate training of a layperson as well as other clinical professionals that are volunteering for citywide testing during the COVID-19 outbreak," Caitlyn Ward said.
Caitlyn Ward is a part of the nation's first physician assistant fellowship in EMS disaster and operational medicine. She is training this group of nurses, National Guard members, doctors and EMTs.
David Aladejobi is one of those students.
"They are training us to properly gown, properly be fitted for mask. And these are experts. These are people who've been doing this for years and years. They don't have it, they go out. ... I feel like as long as we have the proper trainer and we apply that, there's nothing that we should be scared of," Aladejobi said.
"I think teaching people who, if this isn't their day to day, teaching them that they are capable. You know, like particularly with these swabs, you're getting all up in someone's nose. You know, that's awkward. We don't go around, you know, picking each other's noses from day to day. So, I think just breaking down that barrier of like, it's OK, relax, you, too, can do this, we will show you how," Ward said.
Aladejobi says after the mayor's office announced the need for helping hands, he had to answer that call.
"I've been a D.C. resident my whole life, and they say they need volunteers. And this is the time where I just feel like community, this is the time where community just needs to come together," Aladejobi said.
For Ward, she says showing others testing techniques or the appropriate way to wear and remove protective wear is her way of giving back.
"Even ... if you're not a doctor, if you're not a PA, ... you're still the first person who can, you know, to respond to some of these incidents, that you can read in first person to see your neighbor in distress. ... First thing to recognize, oh, that person might be having problems. So the more you know and the more you're educated, the better you can help serve yourself, serve your community," Ward said.
Neither teacher nor student is concerned they will get the coronavirus because they say they will take all the proper precautions to keep themselves and their patients safe.
"I'm not getting COVID-19, so I'm not worried about it. So I'm not getting swabbed," Aladejobi said.
Terace Garnier, Newsy, Washington.