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COVID-19 has made us appreciate all workers

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Ennis based Innocent Iroaganachi believes COVID-19 has taught us to appreciate jobs of all kind.

Looking out of my window, I saw men collecting debris on the road side. I felt so emotional watching them do that. The emotion I felt was mixed with guilt because I have been among the many, who always categorise people engaged in his kind of work as low–skilled. I am really sorry and I apologise for looking down on them as a result of the work they do.

The word ‘essential’ seems to be consistently used in the speeches of leaders to address their citizens about the COVID-19 pandemic. The word according to the dictionary means ‘absolutely necessary or indispensable’. In order words, something we cannot do without.

With the current pandemic, it is now clear that the jobs which we categorise as low–skilled are really very essential. In fact, this pandemic has shown us that they are the lifeline upon which people and communities desperately rely on to survive. Jeremy Corbyn, the opposition leader of the British parliament, while addressing the parliament side, “we can all now see that jobs that are never celebrated are absolutely essential to keep our society going. Think of the refuse workers, the supermarket shelf – stackers, the delivery drivers, the cleaners. Those grades of work are often dismissed as low-skilled.”

Many kinds of jobs we often celebrate have gone silent. Many who take part in these celebrated jobs are now indoors. While most of them are (maybe) working from the comfort of their homes. But these women and men engaged in uncelebrated jobs, which are categorised as low-skilled, remained on the streets, putting their lives at risk to save the lives of many. It is worth knowing that at a time when the world stood still, the disregarded jobs were the ones able to give hope to the world. Indeed, the rejected stone has become the cornerstone.

It will be good, that after and whenever this pandemic will be over, people and communities will come to realise how essential these jobs are to us and desist from regarding these jobs as low-skilled. The lesson could not have come at a better time, especially now, when some countries are upholding polices and measures that are putting persons with skills to do these category of jobs at risk. Jobs we often regard as low-skilled has become our lifesaving in times of crisis.

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