COVID-19 Pandemic struck, AKA Corona Virus, SARS-CoV-2. We are experiencing a worldwide crisis, a war against a virus, and the only ones who can fight for us are our nurses and doctors, they are the super heroes around us. We realise their importance when a shortage in staff means that some lives cannot be saved. They fight for us day and night and expose themselves to risk for people they do not even know. 

There is a lot of talk about hospital overload in many countries affected by the virus; however, shortage of staff isn’t a new problem. Nurses are very susceptible to job dissatisfaction and according to a study from 2002, 20% reported intending to quit their job in the following year. In 2017, in the UK, there were more nurses leaving than joining hospitals. Although there are many factors coming into play, one of them is without doubt the lack of funding in healthcare.

Why are hospitals always confronted with the obligation to make a job that is already tiring, harder? Nurses have a key role in hospitals and yet are not given enough importance. They are seen as bedside clinicians. The job is not well understood, and therefore not paid enough attention to. But here they are, killing themselves for us. So to them, a big thank you.

How many more jobs like this remain in the shadows, or are looked down upon?

Most people have a vague idea of what social work actually is. There are many kinds of social workers, who deal with different issues: domestic violence, childhood, bullying, unemployment, homelessness, and more. They help people improve their lives, and try to address issues that can have severe repercussions on their mental health. Most chose to do this because they wanted to make a difference in society.

For example, they are the ones who advocated for advances in serving the mental health needs of veterans and victims of trauma after 9/11 in the USA. Organisations such as the HPRP (who works with homeless people) helped more than 700k individuals in 2010.

Finally, though the reasons are elusive, juvenile arrests in the USA have dropped significantly throughout the years. This is, most probably, thanks to the increasing attention paid to children and youth’s wellbeing.

They are everyday heroes. They expose themselves to immense pain, and to secondhand trauma. They aren’t paid much either. So to them, a big thank you.

Let’s not forget about teachers. Teachers give us the tools for our future, and have a huge influence on our lives. Education is a very important aspect in our lives, and to sustainable societies. Education is empowering.

This is why it is the fourth Sustainable Development Goal. Every teacher can make a huge difference, and open doors to their students. They work hard for our future. Let’s work hard with them. So to them, a big thank you.

There are many other invisible jobs that we do not think about. Cashiers, housekeepers, drivers. There are many stereotypes about these jobs, and most commonly some kind of disdain. 

Let’s take the story of Angel Caleb Santos, he is an American taxi driver. This is what he writes on LetterPile

Taxi Driving–A new adventure:

“The first day I worked, I worked nights. I remember it as if it were yesterday, I put in 12 hours and all I earned was $15.00 for the day! My wife was disgusted, but I did not give up. I liked the job and saw great potential. A couple of days later, I made $60.00. I was blessed with a 1 1/2 hour trip going to Nags Head, North Carolina. The customer was a nice guy and I was happy because, at least, I had a change in the routine. It was something different and I enjoyed the countryside roads.

[…]

When you got into an accident, the company had a deductible to which you were responsible. I, myself, got into a skid on a winter night and busted the fender on the side. For that mishap, I winded up getting about $300.00 plus deducted from me. Thank God there was no loss of life.

[…]

On January of 1988! I was working nights and was putting in my hours. It was a long and frustrating night with hardly any money being made. I picked up these two ladies at a grocery store. They were going to leave the cab without paying, but I stopped them. They told me that someone else was going to pay me.

I saw this individual working as if he had a limp. He asked me how much was the fare and after I answered him with the amount, he pretended to look in his pockets for the money and he took out a shiny .38. He took aim and I just stood there in shock. I thought it was a holdup but it was not.

He aimed for my head and shot me. Thank God, he missed and shot me in the arm instead. He, then, tried to shoot me on the side and shattered the glass on the driver’s side. Again, thank the good Lord, he missed. It was at this time that I floored the gas. […]”

You never know what stories hide behind these jobs. What kind of lives people live. Everyone has a story to tell. To the anonymous workers in our society, and to those who work hard to make a living, to those that I haven’t mentioned, thank you. You make a difference because #ItBeginsWithUs.

Happy Easter!