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Photo of health care workers flying to help NY gets love

This Friday, March 27, 2020, photo provided by Southwest Airlines employee Dayartra Etheridge shows health care workers, other passengers and flight crew aboard a Southwest flight from Atlanta to New York's LaGuardia Airport holding their hands in the shape of a heart, before the plane pushed back from the gate, at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. There were about 30 health care professionals, all from Atlanta-area hospitals, who were on the regularly scheduled flight to LaGuardia, to help with the coronavirus outbreak in New York. (Dayartra Etheridge via AP)

A photo of health care professionals from Georgia on a Southwest plane on their way to help with the coronavirus outbreak in New York is getting lots of love online.

The photo shows dozens of people, some wearing masks and gloves, holding their hands in the shape of a heart. It had been shared by tens of thousands on Facebook and Twitter, with many comments praising the health care workers for their bravery.

An Atlanta ramp agent took the photo of the health care workers, other passengers, and flight crew before the plane pushed back from the gate on Friday, Southwest Airlines spokesman Derek K. Hubbard said on Sunday.

 

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While so many of us continue to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, no one knows what is happening quite like our medical professionals. These brave souls soldier on in the midst of tremendous risk and exposure, constantly putting the needs of others above their own. Their selfless sacrifice is a beacon of light during such a dark time in our world, and no amount of gratitude and praise would ever be enough. Because of their courage, our family, our friends, our coworkers, our neighbors, and more have a fighting chance. More than a dozen healthcare professionals from Atlanta answered the call this past Friday evening to serve in New York. This photo embodies it all: bravery, courage, and sacrifice. If it were easy, everyone would do it, but we know that is not the case. Thankfully, this group and countless others do it each day, and for that we are forever grateful and in their debt. So to all the first responders, medical professionals, healthcare workers, and anyone else on the front lines today and every day to keep us safe, thank you. #SouthwestHeart (📸 Southwest Employee Dayartra E.)

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There were about 30 health care professionals including nurses, all from Atlanta-area hospitals, who were on the regularly scheduled flight to LaGuardia Airport, Hubbard said.

“While so many of us continue to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, no one knows what is happening quite like our medical professionals.” Southwest Airlines wrote in an Instagram post on Sunday.

“These brave souls soldier on in the midst of tremendous risk and exposure, constantly putting the needs of others above their own. Their selfless sacrifice is a beacon of light during such a dark time in our world, and no amount of gratitude and praise would ever be enough. Because of their courage, our family, our friends, our coworkers, our neighbors, and more have a fighting chance.

“More than a dozen healthcare professionals from Atlanta answered the call this past Friday evening to serve in New York. This photo embodies it all: bravery, courage, and sacrifice.

“If it were easy, everyone would do it, but we know that is not the case. Thankfully, this group and countless others do it each day, and for that we are forever grateful and in their debt. So to all the first responders, medical professionals, healthcare workers, and anyone else on the front lines today and every day to keep us safe, thank you. #SouthwestHeart”