We applaud every woman and mother on the frontline, because over and above their Womanly role being risky, they’ve sacrificed the most by being on the frontline of COVID-19.

Sylvia Omondi

While the rest of the world is fighting the global pandemic COVID-19 by staying at home, the essential work force is doing it from the frontline. Millions of women worldwide are of essential services doubling up as mothers and health workers, food production and transport. the majority of health workers are women who take up positions such as nurses, patient attendants and caregivers. due to the big bulk of women at the frontline, they are at a higher risk of getting infected.

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Nurse preparing Injection:Pexels

Already as is, being a working mom can take quite a toll because you basically get off work and start on another full-time job. We celebrate the sacrifice and effort of these women to serve and protect their communities. At the wake of Corona Virus, health workers have shown courage and bravery. Nurses (most of whom are women) have been applauded for being the real heroes. They take up most of the tough tasks and most of the work load. Nurses are Yang for doctors since they support what doctors do from making beds for patients, therapies, taking tests to the tedious paper work.
The rising number of persons infected with Corona Virus everyday has put an undeniable strain to health systems around the world. And as such, health workers have had to put in more hours to combat the infections. Mom nurses working in isolations centers have had to stay away from their families to prevent contamination, with those lucky to get home living with the painful reality of seeing their colleagues already infected.
There are many women in both government and private institutions who still have to go to work despite the looming dangers of COVID-19. The moms who work in banks, food deliveries, water and hygiene stand the risk of getting infected everyday but they choose to serve their communities. They do not have the luxury to stay at home because the rest of the world is. They have to show for us. Because if they do not the world will go to bed hungry. We will not have access to clean water. We will not access health care, neither will we enjoy internet connection. These are real people. They are our neighbors, our sisters, our moms and even our spouses. As a community we can support them as they work tirelessly to support us.
It is not enough to praise them or to send roses or clap for them everyday at noon. We cannot forget what they are facing while accomplishing the imaginable.

Nurse on the frontline:Pexels

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There is need to create a safe space for mothers to share their experiences. With the recent bloom of social media apps, there are many avenues for moms to talk about what they are going through. Ranging from chats, phone calls, video chats to social media. According to Andre O’ Reilly, the creator of the hashtag #mothersarefrontlineworkers, as long as isolation continues the more impossible it becomes and the more important it becomes to put in place policies to help mothers and families. She felt that mothers should pat themselves on the back for the work the are doing. ‘I think we should be honoring mother work, and, mothers are deserving of a purple heart for the heroic work they are doing for all of us during this pandemic.’
By providing counselling services for mothers working during this pandemic will provide a cushion for mental health. Fear caused by working and facing every day the highest risk to be infected might cause high levels of stress in moms. Separation anxiety for moms who have to stay away from their loved ones causes a high risk of anxiety and depression. It is important to make room for counselling for moms partaking in essential services and their families. The high level of anxiety poses a higher risk for people affected to be more irritable, irrational and to lack decision making. Proper mental health is key for our survival through this pandemic as well as moms on the frontline to deliver and show up for these services.
The health care system in most third world countries already face big challenge of insufficient resource including the human resource and hospital facility. Nurses working in these facilities will likely be overwhelmed by these inadequacies. Therefore, there is need for financial reprieve including tax exemption and or risk allowances to cushion them financially.

Graduate nurse: Pexels

For the communities where these health workers live in, small gestures of kindness can give them a sense of belonging and purpose. You could offer to do her grocery shopping or even better yet, watching her kids while observing the stringent COVID-19 measures. If it is your family or spouse, next time leave a thank you note on the dining table to remind them of the important work they are doing.

There is only so much too little we can do to support back mothers on the frontline who wake up every day and show up fiercely to protect and fight against the monster, COVID-19.

Sylvia is a lover of life and a mum. Her son gives her drive and inspiration to keep on. An avid writer, she's sure to take you in a whole new world. Check out queenbantu.co.ke for more inspiration.

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