These retired nurses and many others were in dire need this year to fight Covid-19. Left to right: Mary Milliard, Evelyn Ochoa-Celano, Juliana Morawski. Courtesy Mary Millard / John Tabaniag / CNN

Juliana Morawski realized that most likely she could no longer work in an emergency room even if she wanted to. As a 30-year-old retired lifeguard, that realization is tough for someone who just wants to help on the front lines.

But even though she’s not in the emergency room, 69-year-old Morawski works in a clinic in Illinois, answering the phone and administering Covid-19 vaccines. She told CNN she comforted herself with the knowledge that “anything is better than nothing”.

She said because of her age and some minor health issues, she thinks ER managers would consider them high risk.

In all honesty, I still feel guilty that I can’t help (in the emergency room) because they (nurses) are so burned out, “she said.

“They are definitely being hammered and hammered on a daily basis.”

Morawski received a first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine last week and is looking forward to the second dose next month.

Call to Action: In March, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, along with officials from around the world, urged qualified health care workers to ditch their scrubs and return to their craft to fight on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

Evelyn Ochoa-Celano, 63, answered that call despite retiring from nursing three months earlier. Unfortunately, she died of coronavirus a few months later.

Ochoa-Celano was retiring from a municipal hospital in the Bronx, New York, her son John Tabaniag told CNN, but took up part-time shifts at a Long Island nursing home to keep busy.

After Cuomo’s letter came out, Ochoa-Celano called her son to say she would go back to working full-time at the nursing home.

As much as Tabaniag was proud of his mother for wanting to fight on the front lines, he was concerned about her health. After losing his stepfather and younger brother, he also feared losing his mother.

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