The pressure felt by midwives on the frontline and the student midwives still continuing their education in order to graduate quickly is immense. The lack of personal protective equipment, rise in the number of COVID-19 cases on a global scale, staff shortages in hospitals and the lingering uncertainty of ‘what's next?’ has created an unimaginable burden on our most needed healthcare professionals-adding to the weight of what are already pressing jobs.
Offering our support to these key workers, as well as vulnerable individuals, during this time is critical; we all have a part to play. The most efficient way to achieve this is by following the Department of Health and Social Care's (2020) advice by staying at home, only leaving the house when it is essential and washing your hands as often as possible. However, more can still be done-and is being done.
‘Offering our support to these key workers, as well as vulnerable individuals, during this time is critical; we all have a part to play’
I received an email from the deputy head of architecture of The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University, Sandra Denicke-Polcher, about an initiative her and her colleagues had recently started, which was sewing masks for maternity staff in the UK. What started off as a simple project to pass time, ‘Masks for maternity’ has now garnered the support of many individuals from around the country-all partaking in the initiative to support healthcare workers on the frontline (read more on page 284).
Another initiative, called Operation Nogi, had also caught my attention recently. Given the rise in ‘doorstep scams’ experienced by the elderly during the lockdown, the London police have started assisting them with getting the supplies that they need and delivering it personally to their doorsteps (Sky News, 2020).
‘We have seen a rise in the trend of coronavirus doorstep scams where people are going around and offering to get money out for people or bring supplies to their house in exchange for goods or money,’ says Sergeant Liam Hack. ‘We are there to just give them the confidence to say no to people and keep them up to date on key questions to be asking, whether it be somebody at the door or someone ringing their phone.’
What may seem like small initiatives on their own, collectively, they have a massive impact on people's lives. Despite us all being physically distant, it is still possible to support each other as a community. To me, this is something worth celebrating.