This is where the tale of the Heroes in the Sick Room was known all around the world. While we are all aware of the many different national heroes that we have in our respective countries, these heroes in White are most unrecognized, names unheard and stories untold. But not for long, December 31, 2019 was the beginning of the day where these heroes are called upon to do what they do best – save lives. This is the tribute to all the health workers who are the front-liners in the battle against a deadly pandemic.
Where Are We Now?
It’s been almost 3 months since the very first case of the once known Novel Coronavirus (NCoV), now officially named as Corona Virus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19) was detected. While many health laboratories are looking for a vaccine and experimenting on different ways to better understand this disease, health workers are on the field trying to treat the affected patients that just continue to grow by each passing day. As the world witnesses the severity of this new strain of the virus, numerous counter-measures have been done by different countries in trying to control the outbreaks. It started by implementing travel bans, and now it’s been elevated to strict home quarantines and lockdowns. Public gatherings, mass prayers, and other socializations have been limited, malls have closed, people are asked to stay at their respective homes to try to contain the disease.
While the majority were asked to stay home, there were some who were called NOT to. One of the people called upon is the health workers. They were called upon to stay on the hospitals and clinics and on the field to treat, stabilize, and locate possible victims of this contagious disease. They risk their lives every day interacting, treating, stabilizing, providing health education, and trying their best reducing the number of patients and possible patients. They are the front-liners of this battle against this new pandemic – the COVID-19.
Civilians Panic, Health Workers Constrained
As the people found out about this catastrophe, everyone started to panic. It only made the situation worse. Medical supplies like alcohol, Masks, and Gloves experienced a shortage. People turned blind and went deaf to the heeding of the authorities and they just went around running wild to the groceries and medical stores and started to hoard these supplies which then turned into misdistribution of medical stocks. Those who had the means to buy more have bought more than one family could consume in a year’s time, while those who didn’t have the money to buy, were left with empty shelves of these supplies. To add insult to injury, even the front-liners, who are the health care workers have been victims of this hoarding and panic-buying. Medical supplies have started to become scarce, and with no proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to protect our health care workers, it eventually led into them acquiring the illness. As days passed, more and more health care providers become sick, some even died trying to save peoples’ lives. And when you think the problem of these front-liners ends there, it doesn’t.
Wake up Call
Along with all these adversities are those people who are very stubborn to follow the protocols of their respective health departments. Many countries took these outbreaks too lightly. They then learn their lesson in a very bitter way. Just recently, we’ve witnessed a 1st World Country succumbing to this deadly pandemic. Hundreds of citizens dying each day. It didn’t matter if they were more inclined in terms of the technology in healthcare or how advanced their economy was. It still hit them hard and it’s already been too late for the thousands of people who’ve lost their lives to realize this fatal mistake. This is one of the many lessons brought by this disease. It teaches us that no matter how great a country is, no matter how good the economy or how advanced the technology, if the citizens would not follow, the country falls. This wasn’t supposed to happen to them, as one of the Directors of the World Health Organization (WHO) would put it, many of these new outbreaks were preventable, but the people didn’t listen. They never treated it seriously until the lives of people became the wake-up call to them.
The dilemmas of our everyday heroes in the sick room
- They deal with these things every day throughout this pandemic.
- They have to deal with the lack of medical supplies,
- The long and painstaking travel from work to home because of cut-off transportations due to lockdowns,
- The fear of going home to their families because they might transmit the virus to their loved ones,
- The rejection in the community due to the fear of the normal civilians that they might acquire the illness if they give these health workers a ride home.
These are just some of the things they have to deal with every day. And they still do it. While you are ordered to stay home, they are asked to stay out and take care of the sick.
What You Can Do to Help
All of the people around the world have feared this catastrophic event that has been happening. But as afraid as the normal civilians are the health care workers. They also feel the same exact way as a normal person feels. They are also afraid to acquire this illness – they are more exposed to the virus than the people who were advised to stay at their own homes. They have all the right to be afraid. But they still do it. They still pursue, they still continue to care, to treat, to monitor, to locate, to document, and to fight this disease.
Now, what can the civilians do to help these heroes?
- The most important thing to do is to be knowledgeable about the signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Once that’s done, if a person experiences any of these symptoms, they should report it with all honesty to the hospital or clinic. If the medical personnel asks about history, people should be honest about it. They shouldn’t lie about it because there had been incidents where health care workers have been affected because of the patient’s dishonesty. And this can be really bad because as of the moment, we are already experiencing a shortage in our health care workers. If we continue to infect them, it would be more difficult to fight this disease. Being dishonest to the front liners of this battle is like shooting a soldier who’s fighting for you. If the number of affected health care workers will increase, the probability of containing this disease decreases. Keep that in mind. So be honest, they can help. So let’s help them help us.
- People should do what we are advised to. They should follow the guidelines and protocols given by their respective governments and health departments.
- People should not make the situation worse for these heroes. There are numerous ways for the masses to lessen the burden from these front-liners. One is to follow the implementation of self-quarantine, and social distancing, proper handwashing, and hand hygiene coughing, and sneezing etiquettes.
- Follow the guidelines given by the health department; each country would have specified guidelines depending on the severity of the situation.
These are some of the things that would be a great deal of help to the health care providers. Numerous food chains and services have paid their tributes to these brave men and women who face this disease day in and day out – various food chains have offered free meals to these brave souls.
We Salute You
For the longest time that health workers have been doing these acts of valor, it’s just now that we, health care workers are being recognized all over the world. We have been through tough times and we all know this isn’t the first pandemic that our profession has seen. This isn’t the first outbreak, nor the first epidemic, not the first “new-found illness”, we were built for this. The writers of RNspeak salutes all those health care workers who tirelessly work to treat and care for the patients affected by this COVID-19 all around the world.
The world is witness to all the hardship that you are going through – all the painstakingly long hours of shifts, the shortages, the hungry stomach, and the abused legs. The people all around the world are grateful for such a determined heart to keep on pursuing even with all the dangers that lie ahead.
The compassion to still care for the sick even the risk of acquiring this illness is wickedly high. The strength to repeatedly put one’s self in the front lines of this battle against this pandemic. The unshakeable passion to help those who needed it the most – the victims of COVID-19. The world is with you. The world is witness to your heroic acts. This is RNspeak’s tribute to the Heroes who never wore capes. For the Heroes who wear WHITE.