An image of healthcare workers on a plane bound for New York — the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. — has taken off on social media.
In the photo, which was posted to Southwest Airlines' Instagram account, more than two dozen medical professionals from Georgia are shown smiling and making heart symbols with their hands.
The scene was captured right before the aircraft left the gate in Atlanta, the airline said.
“According to our crew, these 29 healthcare workers were in good spirits and wanted to do their part to help those in need,” Southwest spokesperson Derek K. Hubbard told TODAY in an email. "Our crew thanked them for their service and sacrifice and wished them well on their journey ahead."
“These brave souls soldier on in the midst of tremendous risk and exposure, constantly putting the needs of others above their own,” Southwest wrote alongside the post Sunday.
“Their selfless sacrifice is a beacon of light during such a dark time in our world, and no amount of gratitude and praise would ever be enough. Because of their courage, our family, our friends, our coworkers, our neighbors, and more have a fighting chance."
The comments section quickly flooded with words of appreciation.
“Stay safe, everyone,” wrote one person.
Added another, “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”