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Let’s salute our real superheroes: Healthcare workers

When the whole world is confining into their homes with their loved ones, they are staying away from their families. They are our warriors in white, continuously enduring the odd times. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers have constantly been on the frontline since the outbreak of novel coronavirus. They are fighting this war with incomparable compassion. They are not performing this as a part of their regular day or not shift rather working beyond it. In several countries, they are even willing to do so with little or no compensation.

Paramedics, midwives, ambulance drivers, and cleaning staff have a much greater threat of contracting with coronavirus than us. Along with this, a shortage of critical resources like ventilators and personal protective equipment is worsening their mental health. According to a study, the healthcare workers who are taking care of COVID-19 patients could be especially at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and increased substance abuse.

What we can do for them?

Van Pelt, dean of the School of Nursing at Northeastern University, is an advocate, educator, and researcher in the development of policies addressing support protocols for healthcare professionals in the aftermath of adverse events. She has helped in the development and implementation of programs that train healthcare professionals in the anaesthesia, critical care, and pain medicine department to provide peer support to clinicians during the pandemic. According to her, setting up small self-care goals is imperative to the mental and physical well-being of healthcare workers. This includes taking regular breaks from the news and social media, practising meditation, and frequently checking their stress levels.

They deserve much more than these few words of appreciation or care. Amidst all this, what we can do best is to stay indoors and adhere to social distancing norms. In this way, we will minimise their risk of contracting coronavirus too. So, let’s give a small contribution to keeping our heroes safe.

Kriti Vishwakarma