The Day The Word “Essential” Became Very Dangerous!
Do you remember this day during the #COVID19 global lockdown?
When the word “essential” became very dangerous?
I do and that day remains marked in my head forever!
Photo credit: Bureau of Labour Statistics
It was around the second and third national address that the president here was making about COVID19, that I first heard that word.
I kept on wondering what they meant by “essential workers”.
Until someone explained it to me. That was when the lid to my brain was blown off!
I was mad!
Photo credit: UNICEF
Who ever sat down and decided that some peoples’ work is more essential than that of others?
Who ever sat down and decided for us that some lives are way more important than those of others?
Who ever came to me and consulted me about the importance of my life and what I do with it?
In so many corners of the world, it meant that if you were labelled as a “non-essential worker”, then your respective government would look into your life last!
That meant that so many people would lose their lives over the mere fact that a certain word was not defining them in that moment to those in the corridors of power at the time!
In some corners of the world, it meant that people had to fabricate and forge stickers and permits that allowed them to access towns and areas filled with resources necessary for their survival!
Photo credit: Al Jazeera
When I say that the government would look into your life last, I mean you would be receiving the life-saving vaccines and medications you need whenever the government would deem it so.
Hunger would literally finish you off if you did not have some money or good credit on you to buy some food!
The evenings and days were determined by a game of survival for the fittest; whoever could get their hands on another’s property would turn out to be a monster to everyone else (evidence bag: the crime report from your area).
Photo credit: Los Angeles Times
I always think of the people who were branded “non-essentials” or “non-essential workers”.
I always side with them.
Photo credit: The New Leam
Valuing work and peoples’ effort commonly known as labour is something so dear to me.
The day the word “essential” became very dangerous opened me up to more insight on work and labour!
Do Not Waste Food!
Dismantle the patriarchy!
4 years now…. SOBER!!!
COVID really turned the world into an even crazier place. That’s for sure.
Yep, my husband and I are not “essential” so didn’t get much of anything. It was definitely a crazy time and I’m so glad we are past all of that here, though I know it isn’t the same everywhere.
Your perspective is an interesting one. I respect your comments and am empathize with your experience.
The whole “essential” and “non-essential” thing seemed a bit strange to me. Who can tell someone that their job isn’t essential. Truly a sad day.
Actually many impacts still stand according to the recent social check I have done.
Businesses are not back to normal
I work in a grocery store and we are considered essential workers. We were out working in the midst of the whole pandemic with little cover, little protection, and constant abuse from the general public. Even now, despite the fact we kept the local village fed, watered, and safe – we still face abuse on a daily basis.
We definitely need to value others’ work and effort. I think it’s very important. It was a lovely read!
This is certainly a different way to look at it. At the time, I was working in maintenance supplies, delivering them from a warehouse to places that needed them. Maintenance was considered essential, so we remained open.
It is really interesting how life can change and I agree with you the “essential” categorizing is just a no as everyone should be valued x
The pandemic definitely changed things in a lot of ways. It was hard for workers in general; some people feeling like they had to work even if they felt unsafe (like teachers or Drs) while others felt like they had no worth or simply lost income due to no work. Such a tough situation.
I had never really thought of it from this specific point of view. I do know, as a New Yorker my heart broke for those who had to risk their lives. It still gives me anxiety thinking of those first few weeks.
Living and traveling abroad has opened my eyes too when it comes to labor. I’m very lucky but the horrors that we see in other countries are sad. I was just watching a video the other day about how luxurious beauty brands get their materials. A lot of people in India work risking their lives every day to get these materials but they are paid so little.
Yes, COVID 19 has really changed the way things are done in the labor sector. Too bad also because vaccines are prioritized for essential workers onlu.
Covid and Lockdown taught me a big lesson. After so many years of job hunting, I finally got a job as a receptionist at a Law but lost it after six months because of the Covid Lockdown. I was furious. Angry at the fact that it took me years and years to get a job like this, and I only worked for six months because my job was not important. That was when I realised the true meaning of ‘Do what makes you happy. ‘
It is certainly interesting to think back on how it all started.
Its really crazy when you stop to reflect on what all happened these last few years.
An Indian Traveler
Thought-provoking post. I think one of the biggest reasons behind the smooth functioning of the world is labourers, and we ought to treat them well.
The essential works are always been overlooked and it is about time that we all be aware of their great contributions to our society. Their job isn’t just a paid job. It is a dedication, and sometimes a vocation.
Marky Ramone Go
I’m glad the worse is over but I will always be grateful for the sacrifices of everybody, like all of us that bought others time to help drive the infected rate down. Yes, we are all essential workers in our own right.
That is a very interesting take. It’s amazing how things can really open your eyes to certain parts of the world.