However, not enough is being made of the bravery of the less obvious heroes of these terrible times. The millions of people that make it possible for the rest of the country to self-isolate. Those that every day brave the possibility of contagion as they work to make sure the country is not driven to its knees and the economy is not unsalvageable.
Working in factories, logistics, in our supermarkets and chemists. Working outside of their homes so that as many people as possible can remain home & remain well, so that their individual sacrifice can mean the safety of many, so that the NHS can endure.
These men and women, unable or unwilling to self-isolate, support what is barely less than a war effort against this terrible disease. Often risking public transport (driven by equally brave souls), interacting with as many as hundreds of people every day, their co-workers and customers, so that we might interact with none. They keep our bins emptied, our utilities flowing, our shops open. They deliver our entertainments and essentials, allowing life to retain a semblance of what it was, providing sustenance to our bodies, minds and souls, while we wait. They make waiting possible.
I hope I can be forgiven for selfishly mentioning some of these heroes closest to me. At Huboo our amazing staff are here every day, keeping hundreds of self-employed clients and small businesses in business (precisely the kinds of businesses that there is little protection for from the government’s emergency measures), without which the post-corona economy will be left in tatters. Businesses whose customers (which includes the government) would otherwise struggle.
To help keep the self-isolated safe and sane, my huboo heroes ship everything from vitamins to protective clothing, hand sanitisers to board games and home-ed essentials… and are permitted none of the usual social pleasures of working with friends: distanced from them, masked, lunching separately, ritually cleaning and self-sanitising…
Mass self-isolation should help prevent the NHS from being totally overwhelmed, or at least delay this, and that is a benefit to everyone in this country, whatever their current state of health or employment. I don’t ask that we applaud the unsung heroes of our new isolation, just that we recognise their role in making it not merely possible, but sustainable.