In July, Nick Baldetti resigned as director of the Reno County Health Department in Kansas.
But it wasn't the 80-hour workweeks that drove him to quit, it was the hostile political environment and threats to Baldetti's family.
"I had the local police watching my house because my family was home and I was not," said Baldetti, who also served as the department's health officer. "There was a period of time that I had escorts to and from work."
Baldetti spent years preparing to deal with a public health crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. He never imagined that when the moment arrived, he would encounter such antagonism for simply doing his job.
"By the end of the day, you just felt like you were on an island by yourself," he said. "Whatever decision I made, 50% of people were going to be upset because it was too 'restrictive' and the other 50% were going to be upset because it wasn't restrictive enough."