The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of realities for the world. People all over are in fear of the contagion, becoming xenophobic and cultivating hatred among themselves. The catastrophic situation has made people more dependent on themselves, their family and community they live in. The restrictions imposed by the governments and strict measures are being taken to make the lockdown effective. Among this situation, people are relying on social media and TV news with many experts bringing new updates on COVID-19.
While many people are trying to keep themselves and their close ones safe from the virus, there are thousands of people who chose not to stay at home. Not because they can’t stay at home, it’s the responsibilities they cannot ignore.
We usually consider health workers or law enforcing authorities front-line actors, but with COVID-19 looming, the spectrum is much bigger. Government officials who are engaged in promoting awareness and making sure people are following quarantine, health workers — nurse, doctors, paramedics — factory workers ensuring urgent supplies, NGO or humanitarian workers, urgent support vehicle drivers and many more fall in the criteria of front-line workers.
They have their families pushing them for work from home. They have their children waiting anxiously. But the urgent services they are intended to work are much important for them than their lives. These actors are silently carrying out their activities and sometimes fall victim to hatred from many of us.
Many factory workers are continuing to work so that they can produce much-needed equipment for ensuring safety during COVID-19. Some NGO and Government Officials are working relentlessly to distribute relief material to the vulnerable population. Health promoters creating awareness among communities and training people on hygiene practices are also putting themselves in tremendous risk. The doctors, nurses and medical staff are risking their lives for the affected patients and making sure they are there for humanity.
Many international staff personnel are stuck in many countries due to lockdown, working for development projects and humanitarian causes. Thousand of miles from their families, they are continuing their services for humanity, not knowing when they will be able to go back home, or even if their respective embassies are making arrangements to go back home. Many have decided to stay back to contribute to the COVID-19 situation at their workplace.
A lot of people are internally stuck in their workplaces from far away districts, disconnected from family. They are concerned about their family members helplessly, dependent on their arrangement of food, health, safety and security.
These front-line heroes are providing a new dimension to patriotism, humanity and heroism. They are being criticised, hated and blamed by many, but that doesn’t take away anything from their contribution. Racism against Asians, misbehaviour towards doctors and nurses and suspicion towards factory workers on spreading the virus are widespread.
The world was not ready for a pandemic like this as even “rich” countries are struggling badly to handle the situation. Many of us were not ready to deal with this pandemic. People are becoming more self-centred and more aware of their lives, which is understandable. But the sacrifices and commitment the front-line workers are showing knowing they can be in danger is commendable.
Let’s not criticise people for their shortcomings or delay in service; not all of them are from the same background or have the same facilities. The restrictions and change created lots of dynamics which have greatly impacted the world. Let’s be next to the front-line actors contributing with their best efforts and boost their confidence with our positive support.