LOS ANGELES - Like most drivers would, Dr. Sarosh Ashraf Janjua was expecting a speeding ticket when she was pulled over in Minnesota.
The Massachusetts cardiologist said she drives to the state every month for work.
But instead of a ticket, the state trooper gave Janjua five N95 face masks, valuable items for health care professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Janjua wrote about her experience on Facebook, detailing how the trooper initially took her license and told her it was irresponsible for her to be speeding. According to her Facebook post, the trooper noted that if she had gotten into an accident, she would have taken up already stretched hospital resources and would not herself be in a position to help patients.
The trooper did not end up giving Janjua a ticket, letting her off with a warning instead.
“As I sputtered to apologize and say thank you, he reached in to hand me what I assumed was my license back,” Janjua wrote. “It wasn’t until my hand had closed around what he was giving me that its unexpected bulkiness drew my eyes to it.”
The trooper gave Janjua five precious N95 masks. “I burst into tears. 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.”
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In her post, the doctor described how she and other health care professionals have felt afraid during the pandemic of not having suitable equipment to keep them safe, noting that she wouldn’t know what to do in the event she got sick far away 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,” she concluded.
The doctor’s story is one of the latest of individuals going out of their way to help others in need during a time of pandemic.
Across the country, volunteers are serving as messengers, delivering groceries and other items to individuals self-quarantining. In some areas, individuals are taking to sidewalks to share positive messages of hope.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.