Jessica Tolley-McLendon ’08

Tolley-McLendon, an emergency medicine physician in Savannah, Georgia, spoke of her pride in the team of health care workers and first responders with whom she works: “We have seen decreased Emergency Department visits but higher acuity (sicker) patients. This has been a very scary time, but I am very proud of our “front liners” (health care workers and first responders). We have been very brave through this pandemic and have stepped up to the task at hand.”

Like many health care providers, she takes many precautions to protect her family. “I am sure to always wear appropriate PPE at work. When I come home, I have designated a decontamination area in our garage where I strip out of my scrubs and use disinfectant spray on my belongings before I go into the house. I skip embracing my husband and children until I have showered.”

She encourages the general public to continue following guidelines for social distancing and wearing masks in public to flatten the curve and ensure hospitals are able to handle the load: “You may feel great and could be contagious with COVID-19. If you were to cough or sneeze, you could pass the virus on to someone who could become very ill. The newly infected person may pass along the virus to an immune-compromised or elderly family member at home.”