One thing that amazed me during this pandemic was how willing our front-line workers were to put themselves at risk. Some people might think they’re just doing their job, but I believe that they were doing SO much more than that.
Were the Chinese doctors ‘just doing their job’ when they flew to Italy to help manage the pandemic there? No, they were going above and beyond the call of their duties to help the global community. They could have stayed at home, they could have limited themselves to providing help to their own community only. But they didn’t.
Our front-line workers brought us together as a global community. And it is because of them that we have been able to limit the impact this virus has had.
Risks to front line workers
The Lancet Public Health recently completed a study that I thought was really interesting. This study assessed the risk of COVID-19 to front-line healthcare workers in comparison to the general public in both the UK and the US. They completed an observational cohort study using a smartphone app. This study found that front-line healthcare workers were THREE TIMES MORE LIKELY to test positive for COVID-19. Minority groups, including black and Asian healthcare workers, were at a higher risk of contracting the virus. These results are quite shocking:
The study hasn’t told me anything I hadn’t already guessed. I figured front-line workers, especially healthcare workers, would be at an increased risk. After all, they are literally exposing themselves to the virus. Unlike the rest of the world who have hidden away in lockdown avoiding it like the plague… no pun intended, but actually it works quite well so I’m leaving it in.
What worries me most about these findings is that our healthcare workers are probably the best protected against this virus. Not just in terms of understanding how to handle it, but also in the respect of having suitable personal protective equipment, etc. What about the police, the firefighters, the delivery men who brought my shopping? They don’t know any more about virus control than we do. And some of them have been given limited protection. But they’re still facing the virus head on anyway, for us.
Impact on the family and personal life of our frontline heroes
When I was writing my book I looked to my friends who work in healthcare, shops and other public-facing roles that meant they were facing the public. I realised that although they were worried about contracting the virus themselves, their main worry was that they would take it home to their family. Watching the news I’ve seen some healthcare professionals say they have isolated away from their family. Staying away from their relatives throughout the entire pandemic out of fear they’ll pass the virus to them.
Facing the virus, I saw, just doesn’t make front-liners jobs harder and longer, it completely messes up their personal life too. They’re exhausted from the extra shifts because of being short-staffed. They are terrified of infecting anybody else, including their own family. They’re not able to live their lives with any normality. Yet they still keep facing the virus head on, for us.
Let’s honour these wonder front-line workers
The bravery of the frontline workers through this pandemic has been nothing short of remarkable. And although this pandemic has been devastating, it is really beautiful to see how many fantastic people there are out there who just want to help others.
If nothing else, it’s enhanced my faith in humanity. I have never lost faith in humanity. I’ve questioned it, every time I see a terrorist attack I question it, but I have always known that there are so many more good people in this world, than there are bad. This pandemic, our reaction to it, the actions of our front-line workers, has reminded me of this.
So I want you to tell me about a front-line worker you know who has gone above and beyond their duty in this pandemic. Someone who has put the good of the community first. Someone who has proven that they are truly remarkable. Leave a comment below.
If you’d like to honour a member of your community instead, click here.
If you’d like your honour to also be placed in the book, please mention this in the comment and/or, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to honour this book to as many front-line workers as possible, I want future generations to see how wonderful THIS generation is.
As always, take care, stay safe… and please, keep looking after each other.
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