The last thing that cardiologist Sarosh Ashraf Janjua needed was a speeding ticket as she was coming back from working in a coronavirus quarantine unit in Duluth.
But she was going 85 miles per hour in a 70 mile per hour zone in her SUV.
Janjua was wholeheartedly expecting Minnesota State Trooper Brian Schwartz to hand her a ticket.
Instead of giving her a ticket, he gave her a stern warning.
He also handed over his very own personal protective equipment to the doctor.
Janjua is from Boston, usually travels to Minnesota for work each month.
She serves as a locums cardiologist.
Schwartz was pretty firm with Janjua and told her she was being irresponsible while speeding explaining that if she got into an accident it would take up resources and prevent her from helping her patients.
Janjua says she felt “throughly chastized” but he said he was going to let her off with warning.
“As I sputtered to apologize and say thank you, he reached in to hand me what I assumed was my license back. It wasn’t until my hand had closed around what he was giving me that its unexpected bulkiness drew my eyes to it,” Janjua recalled.
That bulkiness was five N95 masks.
The five masks were half of his personal supply that were given to him by the state.
“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,” Janjua said on Facebook.
“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.”
Schwartz said he noticed what looked like two used N95 masks in Janjua’s bag.
She had explained to him that she had been working in a coronavirus quarantine unit.
“By her appearance, it looked like she had been through it, like it had been a tough time for her,” Schwartz told StarTribune. “We’re all in this together. Everybody is facing this all at the same time. We all have to band together to defeat it or see it go away.”
Janjua said the gift was extremely comforting to her.
“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,” she wrote.
N95 masks are needed by health care professionals to protect themselves from contracting coronavirus when treating patients.
Personal protective equipment are in short supply around the country.
Many health care professionals are being forced to wear used masks which can put them at risk.
Schwartz, someone who regularly puts his life on the line while on the job, was touched by the fact that Sarosh is on the frontlines risking her life to save the lives of others.
Even though it’s something he is also doing himself.
“Thank you to Sarosh for her hard work and dedication,” the Minnesota State Patrol said on Facebook.
“Troopers are working hard during the pandemic and are thinking about all the first responders who are caring for Minnesotans during this critical time.”
Sarosh said knowing that there are those like Schwartz who care about her and are showing kindness helps her to feel safe. You can hear more from her in the video below.
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A Minnesota State trooper pulled me over on I-35 this past weekend for driving above the speed limit. When he saw my Massachusetts driver’s license, he asked me what I was doing all the way out in Minnesota, so I told him I travel here every month for my work as a locums cardiologist. He went back to his patrol car to look up my license, and when he returned, 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.Feeling thoroughly chastised, I waited for him to write me a ticket. Instead, he told me he was going to let me off with a warning. As I sputtered to apologize and say thank you, he reached in to hand me what I assumed was my license back. It wasn’t until my hand had closed around what he was giving me that its unexpected bulkiness drew my eyes to it. Five N95 masks, from the supply the state had given him for his protection. 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. 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.———————————————————————UPDATE: Thank you, Anderson Cooper @ CNN for having me on Anderson Cooper 360 to share the story of Minnesota State Trooper Brian J Schwartz’ kindness. https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/30/us/minnesota-trooper-n95-masks-doctor-trnd/index.html
Posted by Sarosh Ashraf Janjua on Monday, March 30, 2020