Facial coverings can filter some things but they did not fully hide the emotions as Evanston firefighters and police officers from Evanston, Wilmette, and Northwestern University gathered on April 21 and 22 to rally around hospital workers heading to or from their shifts at Evanston’s two hospitals.

In line with COVID-19 protocols, first responders and others maintained their distance, cheered through masks and clapped with gloved hands to recognize the front line of workers in this pandemic.

Evanston Police Officer Enjoli Daley, a member of the Department’s Problem-Solving team came up with the idea, said Evanston Police Chief Demitrous Cook. He said people to whom he talked about the rallies “couldn’t have been happier.

It’s constant for the people working in the hospitals,” he said, as it is for police officers who are “constantly wiping things and washing their hands.”

Fire Chief Brian Scott said, “The rallies went extremely well and they were a fitting tribute. The Evanston Fire Department wanted to take time to thank all the front line medical professionals at Evanston and Saint Francis Hospitals who are battling this deadly virus for us day and night.  We think of them as heroes in this unprecedented fight and we are so grateful for what they are doing for us, our families and all our community.”

Chief Cook said, “I think people in this community have really followed the rules. I want them to follow the scientists. I want everyone in this community to come out OK.”

Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...