From the Frontlines: How GCU Community Members Responded to the Pandemic

Joshua Orgel ’21 spent his early career as a rabbi addressing people’s spiritual needs. Then came a change in interest, influenced by family members who work in health care. Today, the biology graduate, who headed to medical school in Fall 2021, tends to physical needs as an emergency medical technician (EMT)—a challenging call at any time, but especially during the pandemic.

“COVID-19 changed our protocols,” explains Mr. Orgel, a volunteer with the Hatzolah (“relief” or “rescue” in Hebrew) first aid squad in Lakewood. “We now gown up before approaching patients and wear N95 masks, which makes communication more difficult, especially with older people who have hearing loss. Children, too. The mask covers most of my face, so I smile with my eyes.”

Mr. Orgel is one of about 30 million Americans—including other Georgian Court University graduates and students—working on the pandemic frontlines. During his senior year, he balanced several priorities beyond his coursework: 5 to 10 EMT calls a week; a business partnership with his wife in Child SMART, a childcare center; and parenting five children under age 8, including an infant.

Click here to continue reading