It is time to get familiar with the COVID-19 heroes who are not doctors or nurses: Who else is risking their health for the community?
As the world unites to battle a common enemy in the novel coronavirus, many of us are called to do little more than sit on our sofas and stay indoors. We have been asked to risk nothing more than to be a little bored and slightly inconvenienced in order to help those fighting the virus have as much time as they possibly can to do so.
For those on the frontlines, serving the global effort to stem the virus’ assault, so much more is at risk. And yet, their efforts are vital to keep the world functioning — their endeavours are crucial to our survival and our health.
In this article, we pay tribute to the key workers who are tirelessly striving to protect us from Covid-19.
Who are the other key workers?
When we think of key workers, no doubt many people think of hospital staff — doctors, nurses, paramedics and the like. But there are a number of professions outside of the medical world that are crucial for the day-to-day survival and comfort of our nation.
1. Hospital workers
Of course, frontline workers such as nurses and doctors are of the utmost importance when it comes to tackling a pandemic. It is these brave and tireless people who are working every hour of the day and night to give everyone their best chance at recovery.
Beyond the immediate care staff, however, there are countless people working behind the scenes to keep the nation strong and able to fight back. From admin staff and phoneline assistants to cleaners, every function within the wider medical community is being covered by a key worker.
2. Shop assistants
With tales of panic-buying and stockpiling, we definitely need to spare more than a thought for shop assistants. Those working in supermarkets and stores supplying essential goods are working long, difficult hours serving a panicked public, all while dealing with the same worries and concerns themselves. Keeping shelves stocked, ensuring difficult rules regarding item limits are enforced, and all while balancing an appropriate social distance is a monumental task. Shoppers need to spare a thought for these diligent workers and treat them with the respect they deserve during this trying time for us all. There’s a tired, hard-working, stressed worker behind that name badge; be patient if it isn’t exactly ‘service with a smile’ for a while!
3. Care workers
Alongside doctors and nurses, care workers are certainly seeing the direct impacts of the coronavirus pandemic like few others. With care homes being particularly at risk, these key workers are supporting some of the most vulnerable people when it comes to the pandemic.
4. Food chain workers
Without these employees, we’d definitely struggle to keep our basic luxuries, such as food on the shelves and takeaways on our doorsteps. From production, to processing, to distribution, we are indebted to food chain workers for keeping food ready for our tables.
5. Postal and delivery workers
When everyone is trapped indoors, the work of ecommerce is our only outlet for a bit of retail therapy. We’re very lucky to be able to simply swap the high street for a digital version during times of movement restrictions, and it’s thanks to postal and delivery workers that our goods, whether they are vital or simply a pick-me-up, reach our doors.
6. Utility workers
Undoubtedly our lives have changed. Never before has our freedom of movement been restricted in quite so many ways during a time of relative peace. And yet, the demand for us to stay home couldn’t be easier, thanks to diligent utility workers. It’s thanks to these people that we have running water, heated homes, and electronic devices at our disposal to make a lockdown much less difficult than it otherwise would be.
7. Security forces
Combating difficult times is nothing new for our heroes in protection forces. But facing an unseen assailant like a virus is potentially new territory for some members of the forces. Plus, while medical staff deal with the virus itself, the forces will be dealing with the people. Attempting to encourage calm and safe behaviour during the heightened states of distress is not an easy task.
Getting our key workers from A to B makes for another sector of critical professionals — those in the transport industry. While bus and train services are running at a minimum, transport staff are not only having to ensure other key workers make it to where they are most needed every day, they are having to do so with limited resources and space, while trying to maintain social distancing measures. It’s vital that those who are not key workers avoid the use of the limited public transport available for this reason.
There are so many reasons to be thankful for the efforts of key workers on a day-to-day basis. But in a time of a global pandemic, this appreciation is felt like never before. We must do everything within our power to make their jobs as manageable as possible in these unprecedented times — let’s give key workers everything they need to keep our country stable.