Real heroes in the fight against Corona
The last five months have been an extremely dark period of our lives when every man has been trying to stay safe from the invisible enemy which travelled from China via so many routes.
This is a battle for life. It is very simple for anyone to feel concerned about oneself and one’s loved ones and thus restrict societal interaction so that chances of a confrontation with this contagion may be minimized. Most people have done it successfully and, of course, out of the desire to live and see the loved ones unharmed.
Rich tributes are deserved by the health workers, especially the paramedics, who have to remain much closer to Covid patients than the doctors who play safe and only prescribe the course of treatment keeping themselves at a distance?
Wearing the PPE kits for several hours a day, avoiding meal breaks and toilet visits is a very trying ordeal , but nurses and ward boys, sanitation staff and attendants have passed through the test of their dedication at a very heavy cost to their freedom and comfort. They are the crusaders against Corona virus and need be honoured.
Another category of public servants whose persistence and patience have been on trial these five months are the police personnel. There were cases in which the sons or successors of people dying of Covid-19 refused to accept the dead bodies and the police administration had to cremate these bodies.
There is the recent example of a lady police inspector of Tamilnadu being honoured with a salute in public by the District Collector on the Independence Day. These men and women in uniform have been overworked and yet they have been playing their role unflinchingly in enforcing the guidelines issued by the governments from time to time. They have suffered numerous casualties in the course of performing their duties. They are on duty, sometimes on unearthly hours, too.
During the rigorous lockdown initially clamped for nearly seven weeks and even today the milkman and the newsboy are always there to do justice to their calling. They know that their health faces a hazard, yet they are there so that others may live in comfort of a home- life. They visit scores of homes daily and it is not possible to sanitize their hands each time, yet they go on braving the danger with a smile.
The people who sold vegetables and fruits during strict lockdowns and do so even now lead a life prone to and abundantly exposed to contracting the infection. Still, they are doing it with rare confidence and resolve. If they also choose to sit back home like most of us, life would come to a grinding halt.
The real brave-hearts of the recent ordeal are the sanitary workers who collect the solid waste from homes. They are the most adversely exposed folks. Yet, partly out of the compelling need to earn a living and partly from accepting their role with an abandon supported by a sense of responsibility, these men and women in Indian towns and big cities have proved to be the real heroes of the present tale of woes scripted by the Chinese gift which is proving difficult to decode and crack.
What these people collect from our homes each morning has always been the abandoned, abominable stuff, but right now it also carries the added threat of being laden with the much-dreaded virus if there is infection playing havoc through asymptomatic cases. They are a determined lot! They are saviours of public health! They deserve to be richly honoured since they have to work with the material which carries the maximum threat of being Corona-laden. Let us feel grateful to all these heroes of this black Corona-saga!
(The author is a retired Principal, Government College, Hoshiarpur Punjab)