Doctors, Nurses, and EMTs have consistently made the front pages of newspapers throughout the pandemic. And rightfully so. These COVID 19 pandemic fighters work long hours and triage patients all while trying to learn and implement the newest science on the disease. Not to mention, there are still the “usual” patients coming in with other issues requiring treatment as well.
These medical professionals deserve every bit of recognition they’ve received and more.
However, there have been others involved in this pandemic fight that have flown under the radar. Unsung heroes have kept the world spinning while the medical professionals kept us healthy. These people will likely never be featured in a movie. They’ll never have a hospital wing dedicated to them. Their legacy will probably only continue through their friends and family.
But none of these people ever stopped doing what was right, even in the face of a deadly virus. They never complained that they weren’t being recognized or given raises or receiving hazard pay. They continued to show up to work everyday and do their part to help us through this unprecedented time.
In this article, we will pay tribute to those COVID 19 pandemic fighters who rarely made the headlines throughout this pandemic. But without their service, we never would have survived.
The Lesser-Known COVID-19 Pandemic Fighters
Amid all of the confusing and conflicting stories we have heard throughout the pandemic, journalists have done everything they can to provide reliable information. Journalists have interviewed doctors and researchers. They’ve told patients’ stories to the public. These folks have kept us up-to-date on all the breaking news throughout the nearly two years this pandemic has plagued us.
Thinking back to the early days of the pandemic, we knew very little about how the coronavirus operated. Was it spread through droplet or airborne transmission? How long does it remain on a surface? If I wear a mask, will I be protected? Why should we care about COVID-19 long-term?
Some of these questions still have yet to be fully answered, but this has not stopped researchers from working day and night to shed light on these topics.
We’ve seen researchers take brave stances in defending their studies. We’ve also seen people vindicated who were originally thought of as fringe scientists pushing conspiracy theories.
Eventually, our researchers developed several different types of effective vaccines through hard work, perseverance, many sleepless nights, and untold amounts of stress.
Additionally, we’ve had dedicated professionals seeking methods of diagnosis and management through technology such as the Hyfe app. Not to mention the exercise and health professionals who have figured out ways to get people moving, even when they are stuck inside working from home.
We scraped and clawed, and finally, we have some tools to be used in the fight against the coronavirus.
But these researchers aren’t stopping now. The quest continues to figure out methods to improve our immunity. Additionally, research is ongoing to determine which public health measures will most benefit our society overall. These selfless individuals are undoubtedly some of the biggest factors that kept us from losing the COVID-19 fight.
Food Service Workers
No matter what happens, we have to eat in order to live. Food service employees showed up every day, often working for minimum wage. They risked their lives working to provide meals to us all. We often brush aside those who work in food service as “unskilled laborers” or refer to their jobs as easy. But ask yourself: where would we be without these people? The vaccines, ventilators, and medical equipment would have been moot points if we didn’t have people keeping us fed.
Another often maligned profession is that of janitors and custodians. Awareness of sanitation practices rose to an all-time high during the pandemic. Moreover, people became acutely aware of how our daily habits are unhygienic and insisted on thoroughly cleaning areas before and after use.
Our janitorial heroes were up to the task. By utilizing tried-and-true cleaning methods combined with new sanitation practices, the cleaners of the world kept us all safe.
When cleaning out high-transmission areas, custodial staff operate in hazardous situations, especially those who clean the ICU and isolation rooms used by COVID-19 patients.
They may not have signed up for a high-risk job initially, but they took on the challenge as it developed nonetheless.
Security and Police
Just because COVID-19 temporarily paused many of our usual daily routines, criminal activity and dangerous situations did not go away. Security guards, police officers, and others that keep us safe were continually exposed to a substantial risk of infection every day. Additionally, law enforcement personnel played a huge role in public education and connecting citizens to essential services.
Security and police work are dangerous professions. These professions become even more hazardous during a pandemic.
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” These words have long been associated with the postal workers of the United States of America, and are no less true for their colleagues in other parts of the world. However, I think we can add even more to this phrase now. Not only do postal workers continue working through snow, rain, heat, and gloom of night, they also work through pandemics.
Many schools had to resort to virtual or hybrid teaching set-ups. Despite that, nothing stopped our dedicated teachers from doing everything they could to keep students engaged. It was a trying time for teachers, parents, and students alike.
From Zoom lessons to wearing masks in the classroom, teachers rose to the occasion to creatively adapt their practices and to keep students engaged.
Above all, teachers never gave up on their students.
Every Other COVID-19 Pandemic Fighter We Missed
To all those who went to their thankless jobs every day throughout the pandemic: thank you. To the stay-at-home parents who had to keep their families calm even in the face of uncertainty: thank you. And to those who came up with home remedies for chronic coughs: thank you.
There are no words to adequately convey our appreciation for you keeping our world running. Society may soon return to the way it was before: undervaluing our heroes who act selflessly and rewarding those who only help themselves.
But let this serve as a heartfelt thank you note from all of us. You should know that you, COVID-19 pandemic fighters, are heroes deserving of the highest recognition. No matter how big or small your contribution was, you did your jobs and helped us navigate through a pandemic.