Our nation’s unsung heroes

At precisely 8pm on Thursday 26th March, the NHS was praised with a nation-wide applaud of appreciation. Members of the public, celebrities, royalty and even our trusty PM, took to the streets to celebrate the hard work of NHS staff amid the Covid-19 outbreak. In an extremely touching moment that saw young and old coming together to issue a public ‘thank-you’, these key staff-members were granted the recognition they truly deserve. But what other key workers should we be thanking?

There is no denying that these are indeed trying times to say the least. The past couple of weeks have been turbulent and for many, unprecedented. Schools have closed, University exams cancelled, office’s shut down and next to hundreds of employees were laid off. But what has thus far been most challenging, has been the nation’s call to stay indoors and limit social contact. 

As an official lockdown swept the UK, adjusting to this new reality of self-isolation and government-enforced quarantine has, for many, turned our entire lives upside down. Simple things like going to the shop to buy our weekly groceries or popping into the pharmacy to stock up our medicinal cupboard supplies have now become a rationed alternative to our once care-free existence. Everything has become a sort after commodity. 

When obvious key workers have considered medical and home support staff, the plethora of other highly vital roles and workers are commonly overlooked. Supposedly ‘low-skilled’ positions such as supermarket staff, delivery drivers and Amazon couriers should also be seen as essential to the operating of society. Just think about it, where would we be without the postman delivering our medication? If we can’t get out of the house to do a food shop, aren’t the deliveroo workers key to our survival? When all the non-essential shops have closed, where would we be able to stock up on underwear, make-up, headphones and books without a service like Amazon?

Perhaps the most undermined workers are the supermarket staff. They go to work day in day out, even though there is an infectious virus sweeping the nation. They frantically restock shelves, work round the clock and bare the brunt of angry stressed-out customers who have to be told “it is only one pack of loo roll per customer”. These unsung heroes need to be given their time to shine.

Let us start learning to appreciate all that they do for the functioning of our everyday society – and not just in times of crisis. Without them, these next couple of months in quarantine would be so much more difficult than needs be. So from one member of the nation to another, thank you for all your hard work and dedication as a key worker helping us combat covid-19 one day at a time. 

Image Credit: Paul Townsend via Flickr

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