I won’t be clapping for the heroes.
Firstly – although I’m beyond grateful for the work our health care workers are doing – I won’t be clapping. Clapping does nothing to help them.
I will be adding my name to calls for a pay rise for them.
I will be continuing to wear my mask (9 hours a day at work, only taking it off to eat lunch) even though my glasses are permanently steamed up, the backs of my ears hurt and I hate hate hate it.
I will be continuing to wash my hands at every opportunity. That’s a proper wash, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and hot water. Even though my hands are permanently dry and rough.
I will be continuing to use hand sanitizer in between times, when I can’t get to a sink. Even though it hurts when it gets into the cuts and grazes on my hands.
I will be continuing to try to maintain a 2 metre distance from everyone who isn’t in my support bubble (and even from them, most of the time). I find this the hardest – it takes two to maintain a 2 metre distance. I’m tired of having to back away from people who are clueless about how far 2 metres is.
Secondly – although I’m beyond grateful for the work our health care workers are doing – I won’t be calling them heroes. Making out that our health care workers are ‘heroes’ makes them sound super-human. They’re not. Thinking of them as super-human absolves us of the necessity of thinking of them as human.
They are not super-human. They are not unbreakable.
They are human, and they have been through much much more than anyone should be expected to go through.
Some of them have broken. Some of them haven’t – yet.
But all of them are at breaking point.
If you want to clap, go ahead – but they need us to do much more than that.
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