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NHS respect

Respect

This view from my window this morning does not show the magnitude of the rain or the ferocity of the wind

This is a bit of a ramble from my thoughts this morning. I might do something more coherent in a few days! Maybe!

I was journaling around this word “Respect” and about the strikes and a WhatsApp conversation I had had with my son last night around him leaving the army this morning as I listed to the rain throwing itself at the window and the dustbin men emptying this bins at 7am.

He is leaving the army, along with many others, because he does not feel respected. When one really listens to the NHS staff on the picket lines, as in really listen, the main issue is the lack of respect. When we used to do Airbnb, because we lived within five miles of our local hospital, we had lots of junior and trainee doctors and nurses along with other hospital staff staying, and all were struggling with the lack of respect they were receiving – from their management and from the expectations of the public. One instance was when there was a call for doctor’s to be working all over the weekends, and one young woman told us that for that to work the doctor’s canteen would need to be open, the laboratories would need to be open, and there would need to be more doctors to cover all this.

A friend who worked on the railways was saying that most rail-workers contracts include having to do overtime and that most contracts are Monday to Friday and very few for the weekend and yet people want to catch trains on the weekend.

It made me think of the line from The Jam song “Going Underground” – “the public gets what the public wants” and I do wonder if this is what is going on. The government are so desperate for votes that when those they see as important voters ask for something they get it whether it is supporting the people who work in that area or not. But it is all done without respect for the workers – or even for how much it costs.

It is this respect that is the big thing though. I remember my Mum saying that they would always give the tradesmen – dustmen, postmen, milkman, paper boy – a tip at Christmas. Ok so I do remember her saying that with the dustmen it was more for fear that they would not pick up their bins in the new year but it was still done. It was till saying “thank you for being out there in all winds and weathers to do a rubbish job. I appreciate it”.

I know there was the clapping for the NHS during lockdown but then all was expected to go back to “normal” after a few weeks. And actually normal, as I had heard when doing the Airbnb prior to lockdown, was overworked staff, was ambulances outside hospitals for hours, was someone who phone for an ambulance for her father having a heart attack being told to get the town’s defibrillator and then drive her dad to hospital because the ambulance would not be there for over six hours. The news about all this is not news. It has been going on for years and years.

But I believe it is from years and years of lack of respect. I don’t think it is money really that is wanted. Though a decent wage for a hard job would be a start, but I think it is the need for those in power, and for us the general public, to show respect to those doing these jobs and stop expecting more than they are able to give.

I’d just like to end with this that I saw on Facebook this morning which I think sums things up

Thanks to Gaz for sharing
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change Change the world clapping the nhs Covid-19 NHS uncertaintiy

Clapping the NHS

aplauding nhsInteresting times we are living in when many in the neighbourhood go out on their doorsteps at the same time every week to clap people who are not there. I’m not knocking those who do it but for me it is strange. I think the NHS are doing an amazing job and I worry about people I know who are having to be in there dealing with it all; friends, family and acquaintances. A sister-in-law, an NHS worker, has caught Covid-19, though thankfully only mildly and as yet none of her family are exhibiting signs. A friend’s cousin, also an NHS worker, had it mildly but then her husband caught it and is in intensive care. So yes I think they are doing a great job and should be respected and applauded. So I send them messages, tell them I am thinking about them, etc. But I do not go out and do the clapping. But that is because I don’t get it. But then I also do get many of these grand public outpourings.

But what got to me most of all was a local historic castle has very publicly put blue lights on its façade when the clapping was going on, made sure it was on all their social media that they had done things, emailed all their supporters. The emails had a donations button at the end but this was for the monument’s fund raising not the NHS raising. But also this place has made sure all its parklands are locked so no one can walk through them. Thankfully there are lots of other places to walk but I just wondered if a good public gesture would have been to open its parklands to give people more space to walk. Some who might even be those NHS workers who they are illuminating their building to support.

But this got me thinking about how we, and I include myself in this, make big open public gestures but don’t do the little things that will help. So how many people clapping, or even giving to the amazing people like Captain Tom to raise money to support the NHS, will be willing to have their taxes increased to support not just an improvement in the NHS but also to support all those who are on furlough, to improve our schools, our bin services, etc, etc etc. How many people who are in management in these sectors find it easier to clap than to take a pay cut so those below them could have a pay rise? How many are finding time to support local business? Not just now when we’re thinking about it but after this is over?

So I do applaud those who go outside to applaud the NHS, but I also applaud those who are key workers in other areas, but also those who are sticking to the rules and staying at home. But I do wonder what things will change when this is all over or will we just want it all to go back to normal without having to pay for it, make changes, or even look at what is wrong in this world to have brought things to this point. And by this point I don’t just mean this pandemic but a struggling NHS, an overly polluted planet, etc, etc etc.