Our health care workers are the front line warriors against coronavirus.& |  Photo Credit: ANI
The message is clear for every single person – Stay home and stay safe. But then there are people whom the country needs to keep going to work every day – from our grocery suppliers to pharmacists, vegetable vendors to first responders and other critical businesses.
And most importantly, we need our healthcare workers to care for the sick, even though their jobs carry the greatest risk of exposure. Hazards include pathogen exposure, long working hours, psychological distress, fatigue, occupational burnout, stigma, and physical and psychological violence.
It’s a predicament facing medical workers across the globe as healthcare workers fighting at the front line of the novel coronavirus outbreak response and as such are exposed to hazards that put them at risk of infection. But what remains critical is undetected cases that are accelerating transmission even as testing has increased.
But how should we make sure that families of people who keep us safe remain safe themselves?
Every day, they struggle to protect their patients, their communities, and themselves from Covid-19, many healthcare workers are doing 24-hour shifts in overcrowded hospitals, sometimes without the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
With limited official guidance, health care workers have been making tough calls about how and how often it’s safe to move between hospitals and clinics and homes full of people waiting for them.
Hygiene: Hygiene remains the top-most priority of health workers and their families. Constantly sanitising hands and body and disinfecting surfaces that are in touch regularly including kitchen surfaces, dining table, phones, laptops and other surfaces are the key here.
Isolation: Another important aspect of keeping safe from this deadly pandemic is to self-isolate oneself. As painful as it seems, some healthcare workers have isolated themselves and chose to live in either their clinics or other rented accommodation rather than going back home to their loved ones.
Avoiding close contact: As much as one would like to hug their children or spouses, put distance between yourself and other people. Remember that some people without symptoms may also be able to spread the virus. This is especially true for your health care workers who are constantly in touch with coronavirus positive patients. Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Use of masks: The Union Health Ministry sent out an advisory urging people to use a handmade reusable face cover to cover their nose and mouth when they venture outside. While home-made masks might not be as effective as an N95 mask, they do filter particulate matter and can block at least 95% of very fine airborne particles. They can be useful in blocking possible transmission in public settings where social distancing norms may be difficult to follow.
Staying home: The one family-safety measure all health care workers agree on is staying at home. The more you come in contact with the outside, the more chances of you getting the virus. Stay home, stay safe and save lives.