Covid-19 has confronted with the crucial role of health care. In these five articles I take you over five questions we have to ask about health care for the post-Corona world. Today the last one: are health care workers heroes?
- Must governments invest in Health Care?
- Is Health a Marketable Good?
- Does health care reward in the long-term, other than in terms of money?
- Do we need a globalised health care system, such as the World Health Organisation?
- Are health care workers heroes?
They are standing on the balconies, applauding loud into the darkness of the winterish evenings. The American Wave spreads over various countries during Covid-19. While the invisible enemy was fought, the audience applauded for its soldiers. If Covid-19 taught us anything, it was to thank our health care workers and feel the urgency of a dedicated health care system.
Mystified to the Mysterious Disease
I asked her if she wasn’t afraid. She said she wasn’t. She said it was her job, and she thrusted in the knowledge of her colleagues and management. She hoped her protective suit was safe, and the procedures were well-thought off, so she wouldn’t take the virus home after work to her 1.5- and 3-year-old daughters, and her almost 5-year-old son.
She had fate, and so did we had to have.
Since that date, her job changed for unknown time. No longer would she walk in the thrusted hallways of her department, but she walked into her hospital that was now refurbished to a COVID-19 health care centre. Her known patients were sent home, and the emptied rooms and beds were housing new faces, connected to strange objects for her range of patients. Ventilators. The familiar sounds and smells were replaced with new ones. All put in place to fight the newborn disease.
She would put on her white protective suit. The mouth mask. The goggles. Gloves closed off the last bit of skin that could still be exposed to the virus. With a layer of mystification, she would walk up to the mysterious disease. In the following weeks, we would get to know more details about the new Corona virus; falsified and verified hypotheses. But at the moment she walked in at first, little was known.
Little did she know if she had to be afraid. She had fate, and so did we had to have.
Risking Lives to Saving Lives
While we were safe at home, their lives were at risk. Outcries of despair out of the battle field reached the world. The global shortage of health care workers put too much weight on the shoulders of those who did graduated. Globally, universities and high schools started working together with the professional fields to release their students earlier, so at least they could assist the ones in the field. Yet, in some places bureaucratic measures prevented this exceptional solution to relieve the global health car staff.
The World Health Organisation called it “an alarming failure”
Once in the field, there were too many nurses lacking protective clothing, taking a tremendous risk by saving others’ lives. The World Health Organisation called it “an alarming failure” in the global supply of protective clothing. In combination with the overload, even the WHO appointed to the extreme vulnerability of nurses all over the world.
An additional report by the UN brought another treat at light: violence and intimidation. And this report talked about 191 countries, a global trend.
In the fight of the Great Pandemic, more than 100 health professionals have died. Moreover, in some countries the transmission among health workers was tremendous high. Health care workers make up to 9% of its covid-19-cases; in Spain it was 14%.
The lack of protective equipment came at a price.
Global Health Force
It is estimated that the world counts 27.9 million nurses; even before the Great Pandemic, in 2015, the UN already pledged in its Development Goals that we would need to increase that number with 6 million by 2030. That was before the Great Pandemic knocked our doors, and knocked the global health care staff over.
The great shortage made Cuba do what it is good at during humanitarian crises: sending its doctors out.
About 2,000 Cuban doctors were send to 22 countries to fight against Covid-19. It wasn’t the first, nor the last medical mission of the small Central-American Island. They’ve been working years in Africa during the Ebola crisis, and even in the aftermath of Chernobyl, they were already there.
During the Great War allied armies fought side-aside, during the Great Pandemic it were doctors and nurses. They had fate, and so did we had to have.
Our lives were in their hands. While we had to flatten the curve, by living in quarantine or in lockdown, these health care workers dealt with the curve itself. They fought for the patients behind the numbers of new cases on the news. They must have felt hope when these patients walked out, able to go home again, and despair, sadness or maybe even fear when they were carried out, going to the other side.
More than anyone, they have seen the faces of the numbers.
The people behind the masks. The characters of the dots on the graphs. They had fate, and so did we had to have.
From Zero to Hero
This was one of the few times in history, that one could become a hero by obtaining a zero. Zero new cases. Zero deaths. Zero beds occupied.
At the same time, this was one of the few times in history, we got shaken up and became tremendously aware of the very existing of our health as such. Crucial and fragile. Underestimated and overestimated. Taken for granted, but not gratified.
The ultimate sector that is supposed to care for our health, underwent the same awareness revolution. Several decades, health care budgets were cut in various countries, in order to fit in the increasing capitalist mindset. When it comes to health care, the real rewards of investing in it are not always immediate visible; the long-term gains, versus the short-term pains; let alone a globalised health care.
The Times of Corona were one of the few times in which we uplifted this sector of almost zero gratification to the global heroes. No army could have fought better against Covid-19, no money nor power could have prevented the wealthy and powerful people from getting infected. Ask Britain’s First Minister, or all famous actors and musicians that got hit.
The times of Corona showed how these health care workers who in most countries work hard and long days, but don’t get always rewarded accordingly, nor in money, nor in respect, nor in gratitude, are the real heroes of our society.
Health care is the real basic for wealth.
So, they applauded on the balconies. The people in lockdown. They hang white sheets in their gardens. The people in lockdown. They saw the troops walking through their streets, disappearing in these mysterious institutions in their mystifying protective suits. The people in lockdown. For once and hopefully always, they showed respect and gratitude, for the real heroes of our society. The people in lockdown. Because these marching heroes had fate, and so did they had to have.
Let’s not forget tomorrow, when the world starts running again, to honour our heroes. To honour every person that ‘just does his or her job’, but to whom we don’t express enough gratitude and respect.
These heroes are human, and so are we.
This article is part of the series of Hope in Times of Corona. Read
- How this too shall pass
- how this times of self-isolation should not mean loneliness,
- how you can contribute to this battle,
- how gratitude lights up the dark,
- how united we will stand strong
- on the most util strategy in awake of a crisis
- how I got blown of my feet as well, but caught by many caring hands,
- how being calm can get us through the storm.
- about Love in Times of Corona
- how to discover your own talents
- why we need stories to hold on to
- how you can be creative and innovative.
- how to spend your mot valuable assets in times of Corona.
- how to listen to the sound of silence.
- How breath taking Corona really is.
- discover the other freedoms Corona has shown us,
- about the new-born freedom Corona gave us.
- about another way to exceed your personal bubble.
- about the position of nature in this entire story
- about nature bouncing back
- about the crucial choice between resilience and resistance
- about the game to play
- about star gazing in dark times
- About looking for Meaning
- About how Music Connects
- about what Easter and Corona have in Common
- About the Shark and the Turtle
- About the Irony of Distance
- Why to Hold on
- Fake News
- about The Big Unknown we live at
- about Feeling Alive
- About turning obstacles into opportunities
- about what the Birthday of my nephew learned me about life
- About where we should go from here?
- About coping with incertitude
- About the Great War and the Great Pandemic, and we should not forget
- about history’s most important message, echoed by corona
- How one country could rule them all
- About how to prevent the next Green Pandemic
- about how we are experiencing a new episode of our history books
- about when the poppy flowers
- about what’s in a number
- masks off, how a friend in need is a friend indeed
- What’s Next. after we flattened the curve?
- how will our personal story look like in a post-corona world?
- why we should never let a good crisis go too waste.
- How Spring can happen in Autumn
- How to unlock the lockdown
- Why education matters
- How we can give meaning to the meaningless deaths. (rethink health care)
- The remarkable marketability of health, or not?
- the remarkable rewards of health
- The queeste for global health care
Or wait until tomorrow, when I’ll shine another light on yet another positive corner of this dark times.