A Minnesota state trooper pulled over Dr. Sarosh Ashraf Janjua, a cardiologist at a coronavirus quarantine unit in Duluth, earlier this month for speeding. However, instead of writing the doctor a ticket, the law enforcement officer gave the doctor his own protective masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Trooper Brian Schwartz pulled the cardiologist over for speeding on March 21, CNN reported. But instead of a ticket or citation, Schwartz offered her five N95 medical masks that he was supposed to use for his own protection.
“Well I was speeding, and not on my way to work but away from it, so no excuses there,” the doctor told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
“[Schwartz] was very polite, but quite firm, and told me I shouldn’t be speeding because, if I got into an accident, I would not only take away precious resources, but also wouldn’t be in a position to help anyone,” Janjua added.
“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,” she continued.
However, the officer said he was only going to offer a warning.
“Before I knew it, Trooper Schwartz reached into my vehicle and, I thought he was just going to hand me my license back, but it turns out it was five N95 masks from his own supply that the state had given him,” Janjua said.
She said the hospital where she works has not started to see shortages of the critical medical supply yet, but she had been reusing masks, and the trooper may have seen one of the masks in her purse after he pulled her over in her vehicle.
“From everything you’ve heard, N95 masks these days are worth their weight in gold, and for him to just selflessly hand something like that over when he stopped me for a speeding violation. I can’t tell you what it did for some who has been very scared,” she said.
The cardiologist shared the clip on Facebook and wrote “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,” she continued. “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.”