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Photo: Unsplash / Ani Kolleshi. @anikolleshi

Photo: Unsplash / Ani Kolleshi. @anikolleshi

The emergence of Coronavirus has turned the world on its head. Recent lockdowns have forced most of us to rethink all aspects of our lives — everything from how we conduct our typical working day to how we shop for groceries. Covid-19 has brought wide-ranging changes, compelling us to stay home through fear of becoming infected with the virus.

However, despite the last few months of lockdown, a select group of professionals has continued to go to work unabated, taking risks above and beyond the call of their everyday duties.

With the world now slowly taking tentative steps out of the most severe lockdowns, it’s worth remembering and saluting the sectors that kept our societies moving through the most potent days of the virus.

Doctors and nurses

Although healthcare professionals have been widely-lauded around the world for their unstinting courage, no Covid-19 honors list could be complete without at least mentioning the dedication and bravery shown by our doctors and nurses.

Nurses worked tirelessly in all areas of their profession, from care homes to emergency rooms, shining a beacon and setting an example to us all.

Frontline medical staff willingly put themselves in danger every day for the health of others and often without adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). In particular, nurses worked tirelessly in all areas of their profession, from care homes to emergency rooms, shining a beacon and setting an example to us all.

Tragically, the US is facing is a shortage in nursing staff, so if you, like so many others, were inspired by the courage our nurses showed through Coronavirus and are interested in a career in nursing, there are many internet courses available. Online MSN programs (Master of Science in Nursing) will give you everything you need to get started in this thoroughly worthwhile profession.

Drivers, logistics, shipping and postage

Despite nationwide lockdowns, drivers were on the road every day, keeping the nation ticking over with essential goods. Without drivers, our supermarket shelves would have been bare; there would have been no post, no taxis, no buses, and no way for many of our key workers to get to their jobs.

Drivers put themselves at considerable risk of exposure to the virus every time they stopped to pick up or drop off goods, and they did so without the provision of PPE.

Refuse collection staff

It could be easy to potentially overlook the contribution that refuse collectors have made through the virus, but just imagine your local community without a weekly waste collection. Rubbish would be collecting in the streets, vermin would be rife and the stench would be unbearable.

Despite the dangers of the virus, refuse collectors continued to go to work every day — again without official PPE provision. As part of their job, they handled potentially high-risk, contaminated items, helping reduce the dangers of cross-contamination.

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Also, as more of us began working from home, the amount of waste we produced increased considerably, yet refuse collectors continued their work, keeping our streets clear of rubbish.

Pharmacists

In the early stage of Covid-19, pharmacists were over-run with concerned patients stocking up on medicines for fear of shortages in the supply chain. More significantly, pharmacists were also a first port-of-call for many people showing COVID-related symptoms.

Despite the risks, pharmacists stayed open through the pandemic, serving us the vital medicines and prescriptions our communities needed to function and stay safe.

Cleaners

Cleaners are another group that has worked without PPE, putting themselves at considerable risk for the safety of others. One of the most vicious aspects of COVID-19 is the virus's ability to live on surfaces and materials — in many cases, for days rather than just hours.

Cleaners have been integral in keeping our environments safe, sanitary and free from the virus. As our communities begin to emerge from lockdown, the importance of cleaning staff has become more evident to help protect against the spread of the virus through contamination.

Funeral care workers

The virus has proven itself to have as little regard for death as it does for life and, despite the dangers involved, care workers still arranged for funerals to be held all through lockdown, even if many required social distancing.

Wardens and security staff

At the start of the pandemic, many experts predicted there would be a rise in crime and break-ins as people panicked and economies nosedived. Despite this, most buildings have remained safe, thanks at least in part to the efforts of security staff and wardens.

Life after the virus

In many ways, Coronavirus has exposed unexpected sides of our collective, societal conscience. Certainly, most would agree that there seems to be an increased sense of care in our communities and a new respect for workers that, in previous times, have gone mostly unnoticed.

One can only hope in the days post-virus that we resolve to hold these morals high and continue to respect our key workers for the essential roles they perform in our societies.