File photo

Don’t say, but show your gratitude to the frontline workers

With the start to the new year, several people all over the world kept thinking that coronavirus would magically disappear and the beginning of a new year would give everyone a clean slate.

Well, that certainly hasn’t happened. If anything, the post-holiday numbers indicate that exposures and COVID-cases have been drastically on the rise in many regions around the world. Closer to home, Burns Lake has now become the hotspot while the Smithers local health area is on its way to becoming one. Through all of this, I have seen people on two extreme ends of the spectrum —either blaming a handful few for the spread of virus or, thanking the healthcare workers but not actually following their orders.

When it comes to extending a thank you to the frontline workers it includes all those who are providing relentless care and service with the rising coronavirus cases since the past year. They are those who themselves can’t stay home or be with their loved ones.

They are healthcare workers — doctors, nurses, cleaning staff, morgue workers, who are having to enter the rooms of COVID-19 patients, take care of them, constantly check on them and at times even hold their hands when the patients slip away, just so they are not alone in their last moments. They are also library staff who are providing the much-needed break from reality through books and by keeping their doors open, are ensuring that people stay home and stay entertained. There are postal workers and delivery workers, firefighters, police officers, grocery store workers, teachers, staff members, cooks, wait staff who are all struggling to keep the world moving and are constantly trying to restore some sense of normalcy to our lives.

But more than just saying the words, it is important that we show our gratitude. Show it, not just by clapping for the frontline workers or banging on plates, but by following the several protocols set aside by the health authorities. Wear your masks, follow the orders, wash your hands, sanitize them wherever asked for, practice social distancing, continue avoiding social gatherings and respect the rules laid out to protect one another and the frontline workers.

Yes, the vaccines are on their way. But that doesn’t mean that those vaccinated can suddenly start flouting the rules either. They would still need to wear their masks because while they have been vaccinated against the virus, others who would still be waiting for a vaccine would continue to remain vulnerable, according to healthcare officials.

So, if you really want to extend your thanks to the frontline workers, know that a true sense of gratitude would come from doing what the frontline workers are asking of us and ensuring they are not burdened any further through an increase in case load due to our lack of following the health orders.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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