New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was touched by a kind gesture from a retired Kansas farmer named Dennis Ruhnke. Dennis sent Governor Cuomo one N-95 mask along with a heartfelt letter. The governor read the letter at his daily briefing, according to Time.
In the letter, Dennis explained that his wife Sharon has diabetes and only one lung. Sometimes she would have complications with the one lung she has. He admitted he was worried about her health in the midst of coronavirus pandemic. However, Dennis was grateful to have five N-95 masks he used to use while farming. He kept four for himself, his wife, and their immediate family members. The fifth mask he sent to Cuomo hoping that he would, in turn, pass it off to someone working on the frontlines.
“Enclosed find a solitary N-95 mask left over from my farming days. It has never been used. If you could, could you please give this mask to a nurse or a doctor in your city,” the letter read.
Cuomo teared up as he reflected upon how selfless this gesture was at a time that is so difficult for so many. Dennis could have easily kept the mask but he thought of everyone else before himself.
“You want to talk about a snapshot of humanity. You have five masks, what do you do? Do you keep all five? Do you hide the five masks, do you keep them for yourself or others? No, you send one mask. You send one mask to New York for a doctor or nurse. How beautiful is that? How selfless is that? How giving is that?”
Day after day, Cuomo has to report on the new coronavirus cases across the state. The state of New York has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic and more than 17,000 people have died as a result. However, he said that this small, humble gesture allowed him to see hope in the midst of a lot of tragedy.
The story of Dennis’ letter quickly spread across the nation, earning him lots of public attention and praise. He says he is taken aback by the attention he’s been getting. However, he is pleased that he was able to help someone.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, healthcare workers, particularly in New York, have faced trauma like never before while caring for those sick with the coronavirus. John Mondello, a New York EMT, committed suicide this week. His mental health had declined due to what he saw while working during the pandemic.