When a Minnesota state trooper pulled over Dr. Sarosh Ashraf Janjua for driving above the speed limit in her car last week, she assumed she was going to be ticketed for the offense.
Upon handing the policeman her Massachusetts driver’s license, Janjua explained how she flies out to Minnesota from Boston once a month in order to do cardiology work at the local hospitals.
“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,” 37-year-old Janjua later
“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.”
To her surprise, the officer handed her five new N95 masks from his own personal state-supplied stash.
“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,” she continued. “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,” she added. “The veil of civilization may be thin, but … we are going to be ok.”
The state trooper, who was later identified as Brian J. Schwartz, says that he was simply hoping to support a hardworking healthcare professional combatting the novel coronavirus outbreaks in Duluth.
“Thank you to Sarosh for her hard work and dedication,” wrote the state trooper’s Facebook page. “Troopers are working hard during the pandemic and are thinking about all the first responders who are caring for Minnesotans during this critical time.”