How long have we been in the midst of this pandemic? I believe we've all lost track. While limitations are gradually lessening and we are gradually returning to as normal as our new normal would allow, we must not forget those who are still fighting this unseen monster that has transformed our reality.
Employees who returned to help respond to the epidemic, as well as new entrants to the professions, bolstered Canada's supply of health care workers. Approximately 6,000 nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists have returned to work.
We celebrate our achievements, but the truth is that people continue to suffer in hospitals, the virus is always mutating, and the task of a healthcare worker has never ended. Despite tiredness, personal danger of infection, concern of transmission to family members, and the death of patients and colleagues, health care staff have persisted to provide care for patients.
A crowdsourced questionnaire — developed by Statistics Canada Reference 1 in collaboration with CIHI, the Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada and administered in November and December 2020 — found that of those working in health care settings,
- One-third (33%) of respondents reported fair to poor mental health
- Over three-quarters (77%) of respondents working in direct contact with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 reported worsening mental health, compared with before the COVID-19 pandemic
Those in the medical industry have burned out multiple times in my own group as a result of this pandemic, working beyond the definition of over-time. Some people are so far gone that they don't have a choice and their bodies are actually begging them to take a break.
With my mother being a retired registered nurse, I've seen how hard she worked during previous pandemics not only to keep us safe through continued regimens when she'd come home to ensure the virus didn't spread in our home, but also in preparation for a new shift, and all the extras that need to be done on top of an already hectic schedule.
We started offering our Front Line Workers Subsidy during the height of the covid-19 pandemic as a little token of our appreciation for these selfless individuals who willingly put their lives on the line to keep us and our loved ones safe. It's our way of supporting them and keeping them nourished and thriving during a time when there seems to be no end in sight.
MANNA honours our healthcare professionals by providing tasty, wholesome, plant-based ready-to-eat meals across Vancouver, as well as an opportunity to feel supported. Most meals take less than 10 minutes to prepare; may this precious time allow our healthcare workers to spend 10 more minutes with their loved ones or to breathe and forget about the stresses of the day. Adding 10 minutes to your day adds up over time, with the goal of creating more moments for yourself.