We’re living in unprecedented times. It feels like we’re all piled into a ship, precariously trying to sail through a vicious storm. All of our key workers are keeping us afloat, but it’s the NHS which is really preventing us from sinking.
The news is filled with stories of doctors and nurses on Covid-19 wards moving out of their houses so they’re able to work without endangering their families, staying at work for extended shifts without food or fresh air to look over the most severe of cases, and sacrificing their sleep and sometimes their own health to help others. It’s the epitome of selflessness.
I can’t fathom the feeling of having to face the nation’s worst enemy every day. Having to confront danger day-in, day-out, stony-faced. Masks, visors, gowns and gloves as armour, they fight to keep the vulnerable healthy. The country has a new battalion of soldiers in our hospitals and care homes. Just as valuable are the staff in non-Covid departments. The rest of the world hasn’t just stopped, and there are thousands of people around the country who require ongoing treatment during the pandemic.
I’ve seen first-hand how paramedics, hospital nurses, and specialist-care practitioners have stayed so dedicated to their work, keeping their vulnerable patients protected all the while. It’s incredible how the NHS has managed to handle all the health emergencies that could possibly be thrown its way, including the midwives making sure new mums are as relaxed as possible when delivering their newborns, even if their arrival can’t be celebrated with as much jubilance as normal. We also have to be grateful for the medical professionals whose retirements have been rudely interrupted by the pandemic’s call-to-arms. It truly shows that our healthcare workers always have been, and always will be, ready to selflessly help us out whenever they can.
One of the groups I find most amazing is the multitude of medical students and student nurses who have been working tirelessly alongside fully-qualified staff to make sure our health service is as equipped as possible to fight the virus. I’m not sure I could cope with that pressure at my age, so I’m in awe at the students who can.
All of these people are completely invaluable to the future of our country. When I’m clapping for our carers every Thursday, I always get a lump in my throat as I think of just how much our NHS workers are giving up to protect us. I’ve truly never seen such an inspiring group of people in action.
So, to all the doctors, nurses, anaesthetists, medical students, paramedics, 999 and 111 phone operators, social care workers, care home workers, PPE suppliers, medical delivery drivers, hospital cleaners, support workers, and anyone else I’ve missed out. We thank you. And we owe you one.