It’s been a grueling and painful year, with thousands of people experiencing the loss of income or even the loss of a loved one. But there are people out there fighting the pandemic and ensuring that you and your loved ones are protected. At the forefront of these efforts are the exhausted doctors, nurses and other medical care providers of the country. Thanks to their hard work, many people have recovered from the virus and receive crucial medical assistance.
Too often, people think that medical professionals are the only COVID-19 frontliners. But there are other people whose services are just as necessary. The definition of essential workers covers any job that is critical to keeping society running. They must also have to work outside their home, risking exposure in the line of duty.
Let’s recognize the efforts and importance of non-medical frontliners.
1. Grocery Workers
Before people were worrying about what happens after getting their COVID-19 vaccine, they were worrying about food. Since the early stages of the pandemic, people have recognized that the groceries and food shops of the country need to be able to provide people with sustenance. Over 10,000 groceries and food retailers throughout the country employ hundreds of thousands of workers.
The people who ensure your local groceries are running smoothly include bagboys to pack up your purchases, workers to shelve the merchandise, custodial staff to sanitize carts and the administrative staff who have to account for everything.
Without them, you’d have a hard time feeding your family and getting access to important goods. Always be polite to grocery workers and ensure you follow all relevant health protocols to keep them and yourself safe.
Every business need someone to keep an eye on the money and work the register. Their services are crucial because they’re responsible for keeping the money coming and accounting for each cent. However, cashiers are at high risk because they have to physically handle money and have to face customers. Despite the elevated risks of their job, a cashier in the Philippines makes an average of P12,000 a month. For many cashiers, self-quarantining can mean a disastrous loss of income and hospitalization can be potentially ruinous. When you’re at a store, do your best to sanitize your hands and your money as well as maintain all relevant safety precautions to protect yourself and the cashier.
3. Motorcycle Couriers
When people retreated into their homes to protect themselves, the demand for deliveries increased dramatically. You’ve probably ordered more food and goods from online platforms in the past year than any period prior. But all of your purchases, whether it’s delicious cookies or new clothes, are handled by couriers.
Majority of these couriers are motorcycle riders, and they often work long shifts and risk constant exposure. Show your compassion to motorcycle couriers by offering them extra facemasks, hand sanitizer and tips for their hard work.
4. Garbage Collectors
Plenty of dirty jobs are necessary to keep people safe, and the dirtiest involves collecting solid waste. Every week, garbage collectors make their rounds and keep your homes and communities clean of debris. Garbage collecting is already a risky profession without a pandemic, and today they have to contend with the virus as well.
Garbage collectors truly appreciate it when you sort your trash responsibly.
For example, don’t just dump broken glass and other dangerous debris in your garbage. Put them in boxes or other containers to avoid injuring the collectors. You can also give them tips for their efforts and any other personal protective gear you can spare.
Non-medical frontliners are crucial for ensuring society doesn’t completely break down in these trying times. Learning the responsibilities of these essential workers and how you can show your appreciation in an actionable way will not only help them in their duties but in keeping them safe.
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P. Torres' favorite animals are dragons, despite the lack of tangible evidence of their existence. When reading books or watching movies, anything with dragons in them gets top priority.