Editor’s comment: Only now do we appreciate NHS heroes

PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 April 2020

NHS staff are working around the clock to battle  the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA

NHS staff are working around the clock to battle the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA

Jane Barlow/PA

It’s a national disgrace that it takes such a widespread crisis for the country to realise just what heroes our health workers are.

How is it that they don’t have enough masks and gloves when they are in the frontline of this deadly virus?

We are now at the stage where nail bars and beauty salons are being asked to donate masks and gloves to nurses and paramedics.

How is it they are not being tested?

A nurse at Goodmayes Hospital died on Sunday at home while in self-isolation after treating a coronavirus patient. His family say he was not tested when he started exhibiting symptoms.

Surely if our prime minister and the Prince of Wales can be tested after exhibiting mild symptoms, the people putting their lives on the line to help us deserve the same.

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Many of our key NHS staff are having to stay at home self-isolating even though they are perfectly fit and well because they live in households where someone else has the symptoms. It is thought there are many people who don’t know they have had the virus because their symptoms were so mild. If these health workers were tested and found to have had Covid-19 and therefore carry the antibodies they could go back to work because they are unlikely to catch it again.

It is fantastic that the public are now showing solidarity with the NHS workers - mass clapping, rainbow pictures and messages of support. But what happens to them when this is all over?

Will they get counselling because there are bound to be cases of post-traumatic stress from dealing with so many dead and dying, along with the fear?

Will they get better pay in recognition of the vital and heroic role they play in our lives?

Will supermarkets continue to give them priority when shopping?

Or will A&E nurses and paramedics be assaulted again by the drunks they are only trying to help?

Not only do we need to do the right thing by them now, but we must remember they were there for us when we needed them.

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