These are all faces of frontline workers who have selflessly laid down their lives in the fight against COVID 19, as the death toll amongst NHS staff and private care workers rise, it brings home the horrifying hazards these warriors face every day.
And that’s why the Sunday Mirror is starting a campaign for a scheme to be launched to reward them now, the same way in which our heroic troops are paid more for risking death in battle.
The campaign is asking for a special daily allowance to be paid immediately to nurses, doctors, support staff and care workers who are putting their lives on the line to get us through the coronavirus crisis.
The campaign will be taken up in Parliament, in a Commons motion deferred by senior Labour MP Jon Trickett.
Health workers are our first defence in the struggle against this disease and they require much more relief presently.
Mr Trickett, a former Shadow Cabinet minister, stated: “Next week is May Day.
“What better way to celebrate the new month and the internationally recognised workers’ day than by supporting this excellent initiative by the Sunday Mirror?”
And Fire Brigades Union leader Matt Wrack added: “Clapping is great, but clapping is not enough.”
Delivering the special supplement would be based on the extra tax-free daily operational allowance given to our Armed Forces in war zones.
Acting Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey stated: “I fully support the Sunday Mirror’s campaign to recognise the bravery of Britain’s health and care workers.“
The General, Municipal, Boilermakers (GMB) union, which stewards more than 100,000 workers in the NHS and care sector, also back them, and if we sincerely value these workers they need a service allowance now.
The calls for more money came as tributes were given to two of the newest health warriors to give their lives.
Married father Larni Zuniga, 54, who was a senior nurse at a care home, died at St Thomas’s Hospital in London, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson was treated.
Larni, of Godalming, Surrey, was praised by his NHS theatre nurse cousin Christian as a true professional who touched the lives of many. His wife Edith said he was now enjoying Heaven while daughter Mutya said she couldn’t stop crying because it was too raw.
Meanwhile, it emerged that the most recent victims had included a nurse who had kept valiantly working at 66.
Mahadaye Jagroop, who was known as Mary, died at Birmingham’s Heartlands Hospital, where she had cared relentlessly for coronavirus victims.
Former co-worker Thalia Zong composed in a eulogy to her: “The memory of you and your beautiful smile, which has always inspired me, will continue to do so through these tough times.”
While it’s now widely acknowledged that all frontline workers warrant a more generous pay deal reviews will take time to be introduced. This way those most at risk in caring for coronavirus victims would get extra money in their pockets now – there’s a precedent for finding money rapidly.
When banks faced collapse through the financial crash of October 2008 they got an immediate £500 billion in bailouts and with 44,000 nursing posts vacant, frontline medical workers were already overstretched even before the coronavirus crisis started.
Our nurses are on £11.63 an hour, that’s less than other countries because in Germany, for instance, they get £12.60 an hour.
Australia pays their nurses £14.80 an hour, in Italy, their nurses get £14.86. Norway their nurses get £18.64 and Sweden £23.95, that’s nearly twice what our nurses get and hospital support staff are on pitifully poor earnings with porters, healthcare assistants and cleaners getting around just £18,005 a year.
Care work is an immense enterprise with about a million workers supporting some of the most vulnerable people in society, usually for incredibly low payment and now there’s a real opportunity to create a lasting difference in the sector.
Numerous carers are paid what the Government calls its National Living Wage, the legal lowest for workers aged 25 and over is £8.72 an hour. Workers aged 21 to 24 on the minimum salary get just £8.20 an hour, while those aged 18 to 20 are paid only £6.45.
In contrast, the Real Living Wage, a voluntary rate determined by independent experts as the minimum needed for a decent standard of living is £9.30 an hour for all ages, arising to £10.75 in London.
A poll for the GMB union revealed that 79 per cent of workers in the care sector fear it will be plunged into a manpower deficit, with workers reluctant to put themselves at risk for poverty levels of pay.
The army expects to have enough guns and ammunition when they go to war, in the same way, that health workers expect to have satisfactory protection when they asked to treat people who are infected with a dangerous and extremely deadly virus and to not give them this protection is felonious.
I realise that the Sunday Mirror wants our brilliant frontline warriors to get a cash reward because they’re jeopardising their lives to fight coronavirus, but it’s not only nurses and doctors that brave the frontline, it’s the firemen and the police et cetera, the list is endless and that’s how everything is working right now, but if they all quit, then everything would come to a crunching standstill, and the government should remember that because without these extremely talented people the world would go to pot.
Whoever we are, whatever we do, whatever walk of life we come from, we all put something into our society, including our children who are our tomorrow. The dilemma is we don’t treat our future with the reverence they merit, yet our government control them.
And whoever we are, we allow the government to be alive in our minds, we walk with our government and we bring meaning and vitality to their thoughts, and we are moulded by their presence in whatever we do, and whatever we see.
And then there’s our children’s schools and education and the problems that arise from the lack of resources, reduced academic achievement and language difficulties – these are the things that are regulated by our governments, and without us even realising it governments directly or indirectly controls YOU!
Clearly, we don’t own our children, but as parents, we’re given the wonderful privilege and responsibility of taking care of them as best we can, but now parents have a partnership with their government.
There was a time when parents could provide their children with a healthy, stable and balanced home to live in, but now our governments have taken that away from us, and most are living in poverty or out on the streets.
Children must be allowed to play in the open, no longer tortured by pangs of starvation or destroyed by illness or threatened with the punishment of ignorance, molestation or exploitation.
Our children are the foundation on which our future is built and they’re the greatest asset as a nation. Some will become leaders of our country and many of whom will care for and defend the people.
Our children who sleep on the streets, reduced to begging to make a living, are a declaration to an unfinished job and that’s a reminder that the past lingers to plague the present.
All around the world is known for its beauty, its true legacy and productive resources, but equally, the image of its suffering children permeate the conscience of our world.
And our governments should be reaching out to these children, doing whatever they can to support their struggle to climb above their hurt and misery because they’re the future of each country, who will guide us into the next century if only our governments would allow them to.
Because the true character of society is revealed on how it treats its children and each of us has a purpose to play in shaping a better world for our children.
Our children are our greatest wealth, they’re are our future and those that exploit them tear at the fabric of our society and weaken our nation.
Then we have the families of 20 to 40,000 victims of the deliberate heard of death policy, or maybe those that have been slain by the DWP with sanctions or being pronounced fit for work as they step into their coffins, or the poor hammered with bedroom tax because they’re unable to move to a more modest property, or the thousands sleeping on the streets due to government and local council disregard.
With politicians giving themselves a 10K pay increase when this pandemic started and these nefarious criminals should give that money back and give the NHS more money and this country is being run pretty crudely with politicians believing they can steal or just take and take.
What – does it take a pandemic to show the excellence of every NHS worker. Yes, they might have signed up for the work that they do but they certainly do need a permanent pay increase despite what they do, day in and day out because they work tirelessly to serve others and never get acknowledged for it.
They do an astounding job and should be given more money, but the dilemma is that this country is going to be broke after the coronavirus has gone, and there will be huge tax hikes to cover what’s been spent or lost, so there will be no money in the pot to give to these people that have put their lives on the line to serve others in need.
And it’s got absurd now because where’s all the money going to come from? The NHS is already dirt-poor, so who’s going to pay for it?
While we’re at it we may as well say that they’re going to build more houses as well, eradicate food banks whilst they’re at it, it’s simply not going to happen but all carers or anybody who’s dealing with COVID 19 should be entitled to a pay increase because carers don’t get enough praise and they’re on paltry wages and it’s utterly shameful.