Frontline Warriors COVID-19

Frontline Warriors COVID-19

Soldiers have had the first-hand experience of the horrors of the war; as terrifying as it was, they could see their enemies – they knew who they were fighting! The novel coronavirus is entirely different. In this virus, we have an invisible and deadly enemy, and the task is a lot harder.

Our frontline healthcare workers are under immense pressure. They are suffering from sleepless nights, anxiety attacks, surges of irritability, and the same emotional trauma that military veterans have experienced for decades. The doctors, nurses, and paramedics worldwide are facing an unprecedented workload with no end in sight. These healthcare professionals and the assisting staff are working in frightening and stressful environments, not just because of the little information about novel coronavirus but because they are under-protected, overworked, and highly vulnerable to infection in most work settings. Despite all this, they are putting their lives at risk to save ours. The medical industry situation is very similar to an “all hands-on deck” situation in a time of war. The healthcare workers are being asked to step up to roles that may be far outside their role on paper. They are required to provide services that may not align with their training. Our doctors and nurses are pushing through exhaustion. The healthcare workers are moving to the nearest hotels and even sleeping in hospitals in between their shifts. Despite the lack of protective equipment and adequate medical supplies, our healthcare workers are providing medical services to the best of their abilities. At times, doctors need to make decisions based on minimal information. The trauma of losing patients can be a devastating one. The level of emotional exhaustion and mental trauma cannot be put into words. The feeling of helplessness carries an immense burden on our healthcare workers – they know that they logically made the best choices, but still, their patients end up dying due to the coronavirus.

Additionally, healthcare workers face constant fear of losing colleagues due to the viral infection. Just like warfighters, this can be a suffocating form of survivor guilt. The families of the frontline workers suffer too. They are adversely impacted by the absence of their beloved ones in the healthcare industry. The healthcare workers are separated from their partners, children, and elderly parents.

Humanity is going through a very dark time, but with the untiring efforts of our frontline warriors, we will soon emerge victorious in the fight against COVID-19. But we, too, have an immense responsibility on our shoulders. We are directly witnessing the sacrifices of our healthcare workers. The support we can offer can have a significant impact on the work of healthcare professionals. We can provide laundry support, meals, treats for their children, or even a simple thank you card. We need to encourage them and ensure that they can lean on us to support them.  We can help them by practicing social distancing. A lot of our peers are still not taking these protective measures seriously. This careless attitude ultimately puts our frontline warriors at more risk. We can share the stories of our healthcare workers and influence masses by the sacrifices being made to protect the public. COVID-19 will not be the last deadly humanity faced. Our medical staff’s dedication, selflessness, and heroism provide reassurance that we will overcome this pandemic. We are all in this together, so the least we can do is give these healthcare workers all the support they need.

Hamad Shafqat, MD
About the author

Dr. Hamad is a board-certified physician with over 4 years of experience in medical and healthcare writing. He believes that with proper evaluation and timely medical treatment, certain health conditions don't need to become life long chronic conditions.

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