While experts across the world are grappling to find a vaccine for fighting the novel coronavirus, many health workers are exposed to hazards, putting them more at risk of infection. In Italy alone, the doctors, nurses, and other medical workers make up 9% of the total number of people with COVID-19.
Such is the risk of being on the frontline during a global health emergency. There are many ways to pay tribute to the sacrifices of these modern heroes while trying to combat the pandemic. Here are some of them:
Applaud Them from Your Balcony
Amidst the lockdown, Italians faced the crisis with high spirits as they sang from their balconies to applaud the health workers who risked their lives to save others. People from across the country also organized flash mobs and improvised performances, among other initiatives, to let the people on the frontline know that their sacrifices are highly appreciated and will never be forgotten.
Prioritize Them in Queues
During a pandemic, health workers are often required to work double-time to attend to the needs of patients who are under monitoring, are under investigation, or tested positive with the disease. This means they would have lesser spare time to spend with their loved ones, much less to tend to their basic needs. If you see them standing in line at the grocery store, let them in the counter first just like you would when you see an elderly.
Give Them Tokens of Appreciation
Whether it’s a cup of coffee for the doctor in your neighborhood or custom coins for the hospital staff who saved your loved one’s life, any token of appreciation will put a smile on their face.
Protect Them at All Costs
Counties have implemented community quarantines, border closures, and travel restrictions to limit the movement of people and contain the spread of the virus. And rightly so. One case transmits to two people on average.
Without proper personal protective equipment, our health workers are highly at risk of contracting the disease. If we want to save more lives and stop the spread of the coronavirus, we must safeguard the healthcare workers at all costs.
As a private individual, the least you could do is to demand your government to ensure that the frontliners have protective equipment while they are on the job. If you can, reach out to non-profit organizations that donate the necessary equipment to nurses and doctors.
With or Without a Pandemic, Show Them Respect
In countries with underdeveloped public healthcare systems, health workers are physically assaulted, discriminated, and abused over the COVID-19 scare. While the fear that the workers could be carriers of the disease is justifiable in a way, this is no reason to kick them out of their lodgings or refuse them transportation.
If there is one thing we can learn from this global health emergency, it’s that we cannot thrive without the health workers. With or without a pandemic, pay them respect and honor the sacrifices they make to get us all through during this trying time.