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Having watched the video last week of three refuse collectors dancing around bins while performing their new charity single, it came as a shock to learn that some of Surrey’s teams are being abused by members of the public. I’ve written about this before but it was ages ago and as I hadn’t come across any new reports, I’d hoped it had been a small pocket of nastiness that had been dealt with. Apparently not. And having since carried out research over a wider area, it’s not just a local problem.
Although it’s clearly much improved since the days the binmen (as they were called) had to collect our static bins from wherever they lived - back gardens too - and carry them out to the truck before manually hoisting them high to empty them, it’s still not the best job and it saddens me that those who do it can be abused by the very people they’re serving. Add to that the worry over what might be lurking on bin handles and the need to be especially careful at the moment, and I can imagine how stressful the job must be.
I felt some of that stress this week when calling the care home my mother was moved into for assessment two weeks ago following a dementia blip and fall which had led to a hospital stay. Two staff members had tested positive for Covid along with one resident who’d been taken into hospital as a precaution. Yesterday it was three staff and five residents – one of whom isn’t well. I KNOW how careful staff are in this home (it’s the first time anyone there has tested positive for Covid) and I feel their pain at having to test each week, then worry about having to provide care – and cleaning – for vulnerable people before going home to their families at the end of their shift. I’ve been lauding the frontline workers throughout the year, but it was only this week that the enormity hit me of what they’re having to do, along with just how frightened they must be. I can hear it in the voices of those charged with looking after my mum…
Whatever your personal thoughts might be on this pandemic, there really is no room for complacency, is there, when our frontline workers are putting their own lives on the line, shift after shift, to look after us all so well? For whether they come into contact with Covid or not, the fear factor must surely be taking a toll on their health.
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10th December 2020