Stop the' hero-worship'

The news has been full of daily adoration for health care workers for well over a year — to the point of being unhealthy.

Society is advised that these people are exhausted, heroes, overworked, “saints in scrubs” and the list goes on. They are given free rides of all kinds, beer, wine, gifts, access to services and events and much more, in addition to extra money over and above their regular wage.

The layers of praise are piling up and the repercussions of said applause have grown to a din where the true value of these workers can’t be seen or heard. To my knowledge health care workers (including doctors, nurses, etc.) wake up, brush their teeth and go to work. A calling as it were, to a profession that they chose, studied for and graduated to employment in. To single out a certain employee in society on an ongoing basis with intense accolades can’t be healthy, for anyone.

There are those of you who will remember how over the years general health fluctuates with the seasons.

In fact, Dr. Michael Curry, in the article “This year’s flu season could get ugly: UBC medical expert” (Cameron Thomson, Vancouver is Awesome - Oct 15, and republished by Castanet) says “A bad flu season can rapidly fill up emergency departments and hospital beds, and as we all know, COVID-19 is already doing a good job at that.”

Curry stressed the importance of British Columbians taking steps to not spread the flu and not just for their own health.

These almost annual seasons of “bad flu” have repeatedly cancelled many scheduled surgeries, sent society scurrying and coughing to drug stores and even, on occasion, shut down a school or business.

And who was there doing their job? The health care workers.

For approximately eight years, I regularly visited an elderly friend at Brookhaven Care Centre in West Kelowna. Every year the facility shut down for two to six weeks due to a bad flu outbreak and when I returned for a visit there were always reports of (someone who) didn’t make it.

And who was there doing their job? The health care workers.

It is time to release these people back to their regular work in all the health institutions with their own knowledge that they are doing a good job on a personal level without the ongoing narrative of unhealthy mass hero-worship.

After all, there are many workers in the world doing something every day to help keep us alive in one form or another, from farmers to bees to pilots to (maritime) workers to store clerks to water treatment specialists to, maybe even your neighbour — all without the constant pot-banging bravado.

C Boldt

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