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  • Oars + Alps

We are immensely grateful to the brave individuals working on the front lines to keep others safe and healthy right now during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We asked some of those in our community:

What keeps you getting out of bed to tackle the unknown?

Our mission at Oars + Alps, "Take to the Oars," is derived from a Latin proverb that reads, "If the wind will not serve, take to the oars." It means that you will face headwinds and bad things are bound to happen, but how you act, react and how you rise back is really important in how you achieve the task set before you. Even in times of uncertainty, like right now, you find the inner courage to persevere. 

These individuals embody "Take to the Oars." Here are their stories.

Kristin, ER Doctor, Illinois


"I believe courage is more contagious than COVID-19. I have trained my whole life to deal with emergencies. The time is now. The world needs me."


JJ, Waste Collector, New York 


"It helps that I know I'm helping people out. It is a scary time right now, but I'm providing a service that people need and that is the most important part."


Paula, Second Grade Teacher, New York


“Guiding and witnessing our next generation as they lift each other up in times of uncertainty is priceless."


Rohinee, Pulmonologist, Illinois


"I have always loved critical care medicine. The challenge, the skill set, the sense of accomplishment when you are able to stabilize or cure have always fueled my desire to keep doing what I do.

Now is different. Not only are we dealing with a novel virus with an unclear mechanism of action with various clinical manifestations, but we are also taking on the friend and family role, as our patients cannot be surrounded by their loved ones while they are battling COVID-19.

The challenge of the unknown, the camaraderie amongst the frontline workers, and knowing that we are the ones holding these patients hands while they are fighting for their lives is why I continue to come to work with a smile."


Tom, Mailman, New York


"All I can do is take it one day at a time."


Ben, ER Nurse, married to Angela, Perioperative Nurse, California



"Being on the frontlines as an ER RN, there is nothing that worries me more than contracting the virus and unknowingly passing it on to my family, most especially my toddler twins. The lack of PPE and the encouragement to reuse our masks is terrifying.

Despite this, there is nothing more apparent than how strong teamwork is. We work with an amazing group of nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists, and ancillary staff that help keep each other going. In these dark times, they are the ones who provide that beacon of light to help us pull through and get through that shift.

We have never been so proud to be registered nurses because although we may not be able to save them all, there is no doubt in our minds that we didn't do our best to do so."


CC, Speech-Language Pathologist, Illinois


"Despite everything we can't control in this chaotic new normal, I wake up each morning reminding myself to stay kind, remain hopeful, and do whatever I can to support my patients and colleagues as we strive to push through the unknown. I feel lucky to have the chance to help, even just a little bit."

• • •

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