Mandatory Good News: NYC Hospital Staff Gets Free Vacations as Thank-You Gift For Coronavirus Work

We could all use a vacation right about now, but the people who really need one are the workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. The travel industry apparently agrees, as over 4,000 staff at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst in Queens, New York, have received a three-night vacation compliments of Hyatt and American Airlines. From doctors and nurses to facilities and food service workers, they’ll all get free round-trip flights and hotel accommodations at various vacation destinations in the U.S. and Caribbean.

The respite is much-needed – and well-deserved. New York has been the state hardest hit by COVID-19 in the country. Around 335,000 people have tested positive for the virus and over 21,000 have died there, forcing Elmhurst’s 545-bed occupancy to up its ICU capacity by 500 percent.

“Every worker at Elmhurst has seen and experienced challenges many of us cannot imagine. They’ve given so much of themselves and chose to serve their community with care, compassion and equity for every patient,” American Airlines President Robert Isom said in a press release. “When they are able to take a break, we hope the time away will help them and their loved ones recharge and that they feel our deepest appreciation for their sacrifice and heroism.”

Of course, all these workers have to wait for travel to be safe again, and in the meantime, continue protecting themselves from infection. At least there’s a light for them at the end of this (long, terrifying, dark) tunnel. If we were these lucky health care workers, we’d take off on that vacay and never come back.

Cover Photo: LightFieldStudios (Getty Images)

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