While a lot of Georgians are trying hard to restore what had been their lives before COVID-19, the medical first responders like Rami Grossman continue to face a brutal truth every day: We all must take precautions or people will die.

Rami has been an EMT and paramedic in metro Atlanta for six years. He has seen first-hand what a pandemic looks like as he and his colleagues answer 911 calls, administer treatment and rush patients to hospital emergency rooms.

“We never know what we’re heading toward when we get a call,” Rami says. “It could be a heart attack or the flu or a burst appendix. And since February, it could be related to COVID-19.

“When you come upon a patient, you can’t be certain if their respiratory distress is COVID-19, the flu or a heart attack. You have to be ready for anything.”

First responders are witnesses to the sadness as well as the sickness, Rami says.

“One of my colleagues was on a call helping an elderly man who was really sick. The grandson, a young adult, had just tested positive and was certain that he had inflected his grandfather.”

Rami, who lives in Sandy Springs, is pursuing a master’s degree of Health Science in Physician Assistant Studies. To Rami, the fight against COVID-19 is not nearly over. His advice?

“Wear a mask for you and for your family and for my family,” he says. “It’s not always easy to socially distance of go into quarantine. But a lot of people are working hard to keep us safe and need everyone’s help.”