A Minnesota state trooper's act of kindness is getting widespread recognition thanks to a viral Facebook post from a grateful doctor.
Sarosh Ashraf Janjua, a Boston cardiologist currently working in Minnesota, was recently pulled over for speeding on I-35. Though she fully expected to get a ticket, she was in for a surprise, as she writes in a Friday Facebook post:
The trooper went through the motions: taking Janjua's license, running it in his patrol car, and giving her a talking-to about her driving when he returned.
He "quite firmly told me it was very irresponsible of me to be speeding, especially since I would not only take up resources if I got into an accident, but would also not be in a position to help patients," Janjua writes.
"Feeling thoroughly chastised," she waited for him to write out a speeding ticket, but he instead told her he was letting her off with a warning — and then handed her a stack of N95 masks.
"I burst into tears" at the gesture, Janjua says, noting the five masks came from "the supply the state had given (the trooper) for his protection."
"And though it may just have been the cold wind, I think he teared up a little as well, before wishing me well and walking away."
Janjua finishes the post with a hopeful message about human compassion and resilience in the coronavirus era:
Like all healthcare workers and emergency responders around the world, I have felt afraid of not having adequate protective equipment, and in my darkest moments, have worried about what would happen if I fell sick far from home.
This complete stranger, who owed me nothing and is more on the front lines than I am, shared his precious masks with me, without my even asking.The veil of civilization may be thin, but not all that lies behind it is savage.
We are going to be ok.
As of this writing, Janju's post has been shared more than 3,000 times.
N95 masks are in drastically short supply across the nation, as healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic — at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 — struggle to keep themselves protected.