The Sweet Way Jennifer Garner Honored First Responders

Over the weekend, actress and cooking enthusiast Jennifer Garner treated first responders to homemade cookies. In a video shared on her Instagram, Garner dolloped scoops of chocolate chip cookie dough onto a baking tray, wrapped the finished cookies in cellophane gift bags, and brought the basket of treats to a team of first responders at Los Angeles County Emergency Medicine. "For a happy day," she wrote in the caption, "show your local First Responders some love."

Fans loved Garner's post. Ina Garten commented, "You're beyond wonderful!!!!!" while another person responded, "These people probably appreciated this so much. Thank you!" Users affiliated with the healthcare space also chimed in. "Thank you! My husband is a paramedic and works so hard," one wrote. The Instagram account for Los Angeles County EM shared thanks about Garner's visit: "We have been moved by the support of the community around LA and hope that everyone stays safe and healthy... and we will be here when you need us!"

Why healthcare workers are experiencing burnout

In the caption of her Instagram post, Garner explained what motivated her to drop off cookies for first responders. "They are still in the thick of it and miles past burn out. Thank you, @countyem_la Doctors and Nurses! Keep going!" she wrote, presumably referring to the burnout that healthcare workers have experienced during the pandemic. This was felt by some of the comments on her post, such as one from a healthcare professional who confirmed, "We are so burnt out."

Even before the pandemic, physicians were twice as likely to experience burnout than the rest of the population due to changing trends in the healthcare industry, such as a rise in regulations and patient volume, according to U.S. News & World Report. Conditions worsened when the pandemic hit, putting healthcare professionals under more pressure. Nearly two years after the start of the pandemic, the Morning Consult reports, burnout, staffing shortages, COVID-19 safety concerns, and other factors have pushed 18% of these workers to leave their jobs. Some unions and lawmakers are trying to address healthcare burnout with legislation, such as a campaign in Washington asking for "specific patient to staff ratios" and better-enforced laws about breaks and overtime, per Seattle Weekly