In the last few weeks, we have seen many countries go into lockdown due to Covid-19. All of us have seen and realized how quickly Coronavirus spreads around the world. Yet during this pandemic, there is one thing that spread faster and farther than the virus – love from us humans. We are in a war like situation with an enemy that is taking too long to slow down, an enemy that can cause casualties, yet we have superheroes working day and night to let us have the sleep they are deprived of.
We have our healthcare workers doing everything to save lives, we have essential workers at grocery stores providing us all that we need, the public transit workers helping us reach our destinations, we have delivery people for our mails and parcels, the cleaning crews are doing an excellent job of keeping public places sanitized, we have infrastructure workers keeping essential infrastructure viable, we have service workers preserving basic societal functioning and we have all other workers who are there to help at essential businesses. They all deserve a big salute from all of us for risking their lives everyday and doing what many of us may not have the courage to do.
With their fearless dedication, we are able to keep the country running. With their hard working hands, they pass hope to every patient. With their smiles, they give light to every desperate heart. To all of the frontline heroes, thank you for risking your safety to keep the country going. We appreciate everything you are doing to let the businesses run, to let a country function smoothly, to let us still have a life even under lockdown.
While most of us are staying at home, trying to protect our families from any possible coronavirus attack, we must not forget that these frontline workers are scared of going back to their homes because of possible infection spread. Many essential workers have no choice but to support their families and thus they take this risk everyday to be able to earn and give a better life to their families. Due to the current demand, many essential workers are working longer hours to serve us while their own family members are on their own.
With schools and daycares closed, most of the frontline workers who have kids are finding it hard to balance between work and home, yet they are still out there, trying to help as much as they can. We must not forget that some of them still earn minimum wages despite all the dangers of catching the infection.
Due to scarcity of PPE shields, masks, sanitizers and gloves, many of them are exposed to the coronavirus infection everyday while we sit at home and stay safe. Most of them work under extreme pressure and heightened anxiety but still put their own fear behind and continue serving. We must not forget that some of them got infected and even lost their lives in this battle. As painful as it is, we feel sorry for the loss and at the same time, thankful and blessed with their existence. Without them, the world will stop moving.
How can we thank them?
It is time to show gratitude to everyone working hard to let us have a smooth life in quarantine. While many people are making masks at home and donating at stores and hospitals, many are also thanking the frontline workers by putting creative posters outside their homes or by making sidewalk art. Beside these, many people have come up with creative ideas such as videos, letters, and blogs to demonstrate their appreciation.
There are people who fundraise and volunteer when the city is in need. There are people who reach out to essential workers’ family members and provide help with chores. We have also seen people doing grocery shopping for others in need, especially the seniors. The grocery stores have also dedicated a time slot for the seniors to shop. Isn’t it amazing to see how a country comes forward to help during these hard times?
In Toronto, there was a parade “Night to Salute Hospitals Across the City ” organized by Toronto Police Service to salute healthcare workers. Everyday, there are videos of people clapping for the frontline workers, fire trucks and police vehicles giving special salute to our superheroes working day and night. Acknowledgement and appreciation go a long way to keep anyone motivated. The government and some employers have also come forward to provide the essential workers with the extra pay that they truly deserve. Even if you are not doing anything, simply staying at home also contributes to the fight we all have.
Although many of us are not essential workers during this pandemic, we know someone is working on the frontline despite great risk. We should all recognize their devotion and keep them in heart. Because of their dedication, we believe this pandemic shall pass soon. We request everyone to do everything they can to show gratitude. It can be a simple ‘thank you’ message or just being a good listener and listening to their stories. Each essential worker deserves to be respected and supported. If you are one of them or you know someone who is, please share your stories with us. Or if you just want to show gratitude like us, leave us a comment! We can’t imagine what it feels like to face the fear everyday, but here, we would like to share some stories from the heroes who are putting their lives ahead for us:
Chris – ICU Physician
“I’ll be honest. I am scared of catching the virus. I’m scared of my colleagues getting sick. I’m scared our hospitals will be overwhelmed. And I think it’s OK to be scared. But I ask myself, “Could I live with myself if I was the person who walked away?” And the answer is no. There is no way I could do that. I think my colleagues feel the same. We are trained to do this and you have to do it. My biggest hope is that the sacrifices we are all making will pay off. You are staying home. Me and all of the other healthcare workers and essential workers going in and doing our jobs.” – As told to Healthydebate
Vicki McKenna – Provincial President Of The Ontario Nurses’ Association
“To be honest with you, nurses and healthcare workers don’t look after themselves. They make sure everything else is done, everyone else is looked after, until they finally get around to themselves. And that’s one thing that we are very conscious of: encouraging them to be conscious of each other and talk about making sure they look after themselves.” – As told to The Stars News
Matt Monaghan – A Bus Driver
“We have a lot of drivers that are out, many have been sick. Some have been able to recover. And as the days go by more and more get sick, and it just gets worse.”
“Luckily, I’m a single guy who lives alone, so I really can’t bring this home to anybody. But we have a lot of drivers here that have families. We have drivers that have their parents living with them who are older. We come to work because we have to keep the city moving, but my anxiety is through the roof.” – As told to TIME News
Nicole – Volunteer Screener
“I mean… it’s a few hours of my day, so I figure why not. Anything I can do to help.” – As told to Dr. Gray Moonen
In the end, we want to thank all the frontline workers for their courage and for making this pandemic more bearable. We pray for their well being and wish them all the best. Thank you and please stay safe.
By Maria Chen
Photo By Nicholas Bartos On Unsplash