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A salute to public servants during the COVID-19 pandemic

These are without a doubt very interesting times we live in, times that usually are driven by economy efficiencies, ground-breaking technology and on-demand services. As a result, those who keep our communities going, who are the backbone of every civilisation – they have been forgotten for so long and are now on the front line engulfed by a relentless wave of virus-struck patients. They are the public workers.

In just a few weeks since it left China Coronavirus has shaken the very foundations of the world. The people fighting this disease on the front lines are a plethora of medical staff, teachers, police officers and other emergency staff, but they are burnt out – and in all honesty, are likely to come into this after years of overworking.

The physical, emotional and mental strain that medical staff globally are facing is immense and unimaginable. They are serving whilst facing a shortage of equipment and protective wear, and simultaneously seeing their colleagues having to self-isolate – after being infected as a result of their close patient contact. In spite of this, they carry on. Selflessly. News stories, radio interviews and social media posts demonstrate the immense challenge they are confronting.

Oftentimes we forget about teachers. Yet they, too, have to dig deep and carry on working. Despite the need for social distancing, most medical staff face the conundrum of not being able to arrange or afford childcare, and hence some governments are asking schools to remain open to care for those children. Facing the challenge of still having to look after others – and even where children may be less infectious – undoubtedly teachers and childminders across the globe are doing their bit to support their medical counterparts.

Police officers will be feeling the strain, and with many governments imposing lockdowns in key cities. Ambulance staff will inevitably have to put in more hours to keep up with swelling demand for emergency response – in addition to their usual vital work. Each of them will feel the knock-on effects of this aggressive and invisible infection. Some of these workforces estimate a fall of 40% due to Coronavirus, which makes their work all the more incredible.

Whilst these and more public servants grind away, with little sleep, overworked and have the same anxieties we all do, the rest of us can at least try to ease the strain on them.

Here are five simple things we can all do:

  1. Stay at home: This will reduce the spread of the virus and undoubtedly reduce pressure at hospitals, giving the medical staff some chance to cope.
  2. Offer to do some shopping for them: Whilst many resort to panic buying at supermarkets, doctors, nurses, teachers, police officers and the like are left with slim pickings when they go shopping for their families.
  3. Lend them your ear: It can get too much for so many of them, and they have no energy left to support one another. Give them a call and just let them ‘lean on your shoulder’ (over the phone – and not literally, mind!)
  4. Help with small daily jobs: For example, give them a ride to work – but ask them to sit in the back seat. Or, perhaps do their laundry, feed their cat, or cook them a meal? And be extra polite to them!
  5. Check up on a near and dear one: Take this burden from them. Of course, maintain social distance, but perhaps help to support a public worker’s elderly relative.

Public workers never went into their line of work for the money – many of them receive wages which are far too humble. Rather, they have hearts of gold and have voluntarily signed up to fight battles such as these – just so you and I can live life more comfortably.

It’s in these times that we must support those who are the pillars of our community.

“Do not let your difficulties fill you with anxiety; after all, it is only in the darkest nights that stars shine more brightly.

– Ali (father of Hussain)


Who is Hussain has launched a global campaign called 40 Neighbours, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. We are encouraging everyone to reach out to their local neighbours (whilst practising social-distancing and all necessary precautions) during this pandemic to ensure the most vulnerable are protected. Find out more about the campaign here.

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