Erick Vargas Bromberg began a new job as a chef du cuisine in New York’s vaunted Charlie Palmer restaurant group just before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down America’s largest city and devastated its restaurant industry. In a matter of days, he says, the group reduced its workforce from more than 1,000 to a handful, of which Vargas Bromberg is grateful to be one. The spectre of the disease and its crippling impact on his career field, however, triggered the anxiety he’d experienced throughout his life. To help manage that stress, he knew he needed to do something proactive.
“I was thinking of more ways I could give back,” says Vargas Bromberg, who is working daily to cook meals for front-line workers at New York’s hard-hit hospitals. “As much as I’m able, I’m donating to those who are providing for the needy and the first responders, and toward research.”
Like many Americans, he learned about Johns Hopkins’ COVID-19 response through media coverage and visited the institution’s website for more information.
“I’d heard of Johns Hopkins before all of this, and I figured I might as well give to Johns Hopkins because it’s the top-notch leader right now in the fight [against COVID-19],” he says.
He’s hopeful his donation, alongside many others’, will benefit the Johns Hopkins researchers whose work on potential treatments and vaccines may help bring the pandemic under control and, some day soon, bring back the jobs his many colleagues have lost.
“Instead of spending my money on an absurd amount of toilet paper or flour, I’d rather give to something that matters,” Vargas Bromberg says. “I hope that we can get together and put our strengths together to support those who really need our help and get this thing over and done with.”
Topics: Friends of Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Promote and Protect Health