“I root for all nurses on World Health Day.”
I have visited a quarantine inspection site at Incheon International Airport. Unnamed quarantine officials were dedicating themselves to their work there. They are the ones toiling away day and night to block an inflow of COVID-19 from those arriving from overseas, who recently have accounted for half of the new confirmed cases each day. I am grateful to them and once more express my appreciation.
On my way home, I thought about those who are hardly forgettable: the ones devoting themselves to the medical frontlines, stepping away from the spotlight. They also work in intensive care units, screening stations, hospital wards housing confirmed cases and residential treatment centers.
They are none other than our nurses. I saw photos of nurses with band-aids and bandages applied to their foreheads and noses covering wounds from their long shifts in masks and goggles. I felt bad and sorry for them. Even after their retirement or while on a leave of absence from work, I’ve seen them rush to a scene at a moment’s notice when requested to help. I was grateful and moved.
Nurses are warriors clad in protective gear on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19. In spite of heavy workloads and high risk of infection, you stand by patients for the longest hours at the closest proximity, neglecting your own safety.
All of you are unrecognized heroes and contributing the most to safeguard people’s lives. However, your hard work is only described as “the dedication of medical professionals,” and you do not receive as much of the spotlight as doctors. I would like to give an award to all of the supporting actors in the world who are not in the limelight.
The theme of this World Health Day happens to be “Support Nurses and Midwives.” I hope that the support from all of us can become a source of irreplaceable pride for nurses. The support we are sending with one mind will make the Republic of Korea a better country to live in.