(Opinion teaser)

Stop hurting the healers

Last year around this time, I remember I was in Vancouver and everyone would come to their windows or patios to bang on pots and pans to show their appreciation for healthcare workers. That was a year ago and here we are one year down the line, with healthcare workers more overworked than ever, more under pressure and way more depressed than you and I can imagine. And yet, still news of cases from all over the world, of abuse against healthcare workers continues to trickle in.

We read, write, watch news of death and devastation, many of us have lost family and friends to the virus but the devastation witnessed by healthcare workers is beyond imagination. These are the ones who are having to hold the hands of dying patients, these are the ones who are having to assure them that they will be alright, these are the ones who have to decide who would get a medicine over another human being especially in countries that are suffering from bed and oxygen shortage, these are also the ones who have been witnesses to deaths and have probably lost count of how many, but the faces of all those lost would still continue to haunt them.

Despite the personal risks and physical and mental pressure of being a healthcare worker during such an unprecedented time, these healthcare workers all over the world are constantly trying to help others. And yet, there continues to be cases of abuse, discrimination and violence against these caregivers.

Last year when the pandemic first started making serious strides, nurses all over the world faced threats, discrimination, they were being spat on and even called “disease-spreaders” in some cases. On the outside, these healthcare workers might seem strong and resilient, and yes they are made from a different kind of courage but they are still human beings and deserve to be treated humanely.

Yes, agreed that there is a raging pandemic and people all over the world are tired, exhausted, frustrated and scared. But none of this gives anyone the right to abuse and take out all these emotions out on healthcare workers. Healthcare workers are no one’s punching bags.

May 1 was National Physician’s Day and this week marks the National Nursing week in Canada. I am honestly of the opinion that these healthcare workers deserve care, respect and appreciation every single day but it will obviously be nice to take a moment to extend a helping hand to them and show our appreciation this week.

So, thank you to all the healthcare workers, to the physicians and to the nurses for the care and humanity you are showing, and the risk you all are taking in bringing a semblance of normalcy to this world.

I hope this pandemic teaches everyone to put humans and humanity first and to stop hurting the healers.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist


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