What an intense year it has been. Most people, if confronted a year ago with the prediction that the whole world would be tangling with a deadly pandemic well into 2021 would have laughed it off. But here we sit, staring down the barrel of yet another restrictive lockdown with no end easily in sight. For the past twelve months, doctors, nurses, hospital staff, care workers, teachers, supermarket workers, policemen and a vast array of other heroic men and women have been on constant alert, working night and day to quell the spread of COVID 19. While, in Britain, we clapped for these ‘key workers’ every Thursday, in truth there is no way we can show them the gratitude they deserve for the personal sacrifices made, colleagues lost and risks taken.
Our brave medical professionals have long been an unfairly maligned group in our society. They have been vilified by successive governments when attempting to ask for a modest pay rise. Despite their heroism, they continue to be forced to pay extortionate rates to park at the hospitals in which they work. Immigrant doctors and nurses are kept in a constant state of doubt regarding their residency status. And amid all of these personal difficulties, there is a growing movement of people protesting against the imposition of further lockdowns, claiming that Coronavirus is a ‘hoax’.
As well as a major kick in the teeth for these staff, and the sacrifices they have made this year, this sentiment is leading to a renewed surge in cases of the virus, prolonging their ordeal. Mercifully, these people remain in a minority but they have nevertheless energised many of us to do what we can to help out those struggling key workers. Yet it can be hard to know how we can make our actions count.
So what can we do to help out?
Other than money, possibly the next most useful thing you can donate to the medical services is your blood and plasma. Donating blood will help keep other vital hospital departments (cancer wards, Accident & Emergency etc) well stocked with the supplies they need to keep people alive as the focus shifts towards treating COVID patients. Better still, you might qualify for plasma donation rewards as an extra incentive for sharing your precious natural resource.
Since hospitals are forced to devote more and more of their time and energy to combatting COVID 19, other departments are feeling the strain. As such, one understated yet incredibly important way to help them out is simply to remain healthy yourself. Do not take unnecessary risks and keep outside trips to a bare minimum. It might be a good idea to cancel that free climbing excursion you had planned!
Wear a mask
We have all had this advice jammed down our throats throughout the pandemic and for good reason. Wearing a mask has been shown to protect not only those around you but also the person wearing one. So to stop the virus from spreading out of control, keep yours on in public places. In such a pervasive pandemic, all of our individual actions count. If we all make minor sacrifices and trust the advice of our medical professionals, we can beat it for good.
Photo by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash