EMT’s tend to be forgotten when it comes to thanking those in important roles within healthcare. Many don’t appreciate what they do. They go into any and every situation when they don’t know the reality of the danger, but do so because it is their duty to serve people in need. What they do keeps us, the general public, safe daily.
Benjamin Kincaid Windle has been training in Muay Thai for six years. He’s competed in a few fights and a couple smokers. The 31-year old is based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the U.S. The father-to-be has also been an EMT for almost an entire decade, with the last five years dedicated to the Philadelphia Fire Department.
Philadelphia is not very far from the “epicenter” of COVID-19 cases in the U.S.: New York City. “Philadelphia has not been hit as bad,” Benjamin says, “but we are still going through it.” The state of Pennsylvania current has 11,510 confirmed cases since COVID-19 was first detected there about a month ago. The city of Philadelphia is at 3,189 confirmed cases and its death tole at 43 (time of writing: April 6, 2020). “We are dealing with regular calls,” Benjamin says wearily. “It feels like roulette. It’s frustrating. We have to ration protective gear right now because we know the other foot is gonna drop in the next week or so.”
This shortage of PPE (protective personal equipment) has been talked about by many people on the front-line, including a firefighter paramedic and nurse from San Francisco. According to Benjamin, this serious shortage of PPE along with the general lack of supplies is at its breaking point. He also worries about being asymptomatic and bringing it home to his pregnant wife. People within Benjamin’s personal circle have not been diagnosed with COVID-19, but he says, “That’s coming for all of us, though.” This is a very grim thought when you look at the amount of already confirmed cases throughout the country. “It’s getting hairy out here,” shudders Benjamin. “It feels like we are all just holding our breath. It’s the single scariest thing I’ve ever dealt with personally.”
Benjamin, like many other people on the front-line fighting this virus, find it extremely frustrating to see people not abiding by the social distancing and isolation guidelines put into place. The CDC has put out a number of guidelines, which includes washing one’s hands, social distancing, and staying home. “I see kids running up and down my block not adhering to any of the recommended social restrictions,” Benjamin condemns. “I see the same thing when I go out to get supplies. This can be mostly attributed to people just getting bad information or just being plain old ignorant.”
Still, Benjamin continues on with his line of work. “I just love to do it,” he expresses. “[Even though] the protocols are changing literally everyday and there is a different protocol for every hospital, I love my job.” During downtime, he’s enjoying his time at home with his wife and dogs. He’s also been planting succulents, hard-to-kill plants that are a breath of determination and life we all need right now.
Benjamin urges everyone to stay home. “This is real. This is scary. I’ve seen it first hand. It’s not about protecting yourself. It’s about protecting your loved one and my loved ones and the loved ones of complete strangers. Everyone is somebody to someone.”
“Stay inside. Help us help everyone else.”
Thank you, Benjamin, for everything you’re doing during this time. Thank you for being selfless and putting the needs of the world before your own.
Fighting COVID-19 is an article series that highlights individuals within the Muay Thai/fighting/martial arts community who are either on the front-line of treating patients, providing information and news on their platform, or using their skills to assist others during this time. If you know someone who deserves to be recognized for what they’re doing, please send a private message via any of the social media platforms or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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