I am an essential worker. That doesn’t mean much in this crazy pandemic cause it seems that everyone is essential, at least judging from Facebook. I am a health care worker. No, I’m not a nurse. No, I will not be treating you once you have been diagnosed with the Coronavirus. I am a radiotherapist.
I stand for the sick and the dying. The people who have no protection against Coronavirus. The ones who have fought cancer, struggled through chemotherapy, and are now pushing through radiation treatment. Treatment that is hard on the body and the mind. And they have to do it alone
They walk into the hospital by themselves. They have to sign forms that they haven’t been exposed to the virus, they have to have their temperature taken and then they have to sit in the waiting room alone. No support system. No one to hold their hand while they wait for a treatment. No hugs. No shoulder pats for being brave. Nothing.
And I can’t offer any support. They can’t see the sympathy in my smile cause my face is covered. I can’t hold them and tell them that it is going to be ok. We can’t have a chat and talk about their fears cause they have to get out of the hospital and race home. They have to minimize their possible exposure.
But you, you sit at home and complain bitterly on social media about how stupid social distancing is, how only “sheeple” wear cloth masks, how the government is actually a dictatorship trying to control our lives. You make me sick to my stomach. You go out shopping every day cause you are tired of being in the house. You complain about the economy, how many lives would be equal to your car payment? How many thousands need to die so that you can have a hair cut? Yes, I understand, we need to keep the economy ticking over. People are starving in their homes. People are going to be homeless. It sucks
But what is the cost of a human life? Where do we draw the line? If you can afford to stay home, just stay home. Help keep my patients safe. Help keep my children safe. Help keep your children safe. Help keep the people safe who take care of us during the pandemic. Help keep the people safe that will keep the country running when this is all over, the farm workers, miners, retail workers, factory workers, nurses, teachers, municipal workers, policemen, firemen, sanitation workers, electricians, plumbers, office workers, bank tellers…. they all rely on you. Be essential. Be the hero that they need you to be. Stay home, wash your hands, don’t touch your face. That is all.