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Backbone of the nation

Backbone of the nation 1

WITH the current Covid-19 pandemic, we should be made to realise that not all of us have the luxury of working from home, nor time to practise being a Masterchef or fitness guru.

There is a huge demographic out there who sweat and toil hard daily so that we can afford to live in comfort.

May 1 is celebrated as the International Labour Day, which honours the efforts of labourers and the working class.

This story is based on observations I have made while under the movement control order (MCO).

While confined to my home in Seremban during this lockdown, I have received alerts on my smartphone all day, even on weekends, as to how Syarikat Air Negeri Sembilan (SAINS) is constantly fixing a burst pipe or leak in some part of the state. This is something all waterworks departments do regularly around the country.

Constant maintenance works ensure that the people get their regular water supply, even if they have to suffer the inconvenience of a water supply cut for a few hours every now and then.

Before you complain, remember that in some parts of the world running water is uncommon, clean drinking water is hard to come by, and in some cases people walk several kilometres each day to carry the water they need.

Take the folks at Tenaga Nasional who work around the clock to make sure our power supply is undistrupted. You can hurl curses at them when there is a distruption, but do you ever give them a word of thanks as you enjoy the air conditioner at full blast on a hot day, or when you watch your favourite movie or TV show, or have finished baking that burnt cheesecake in your increasingly-used oven?

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Along with medical personnel, the police, FRU and armed forces, many of those who are considered essential workers are cleaning crews, kitchen staff, retail outlet employees, delivery men and women (whether they drive a truck or a motorcycle), public transportation workers, and sanitation workers.

Also, please don’t forget the contribution of farmers and fisherman who toil daily to make sure our food supply remains constant.

Do you hold these unsung heroes on the same level as the demigods of the entertainment industry? Of course not. But you depend on them far more.

Also spare a thought for the electrician, plumber, grass cutter, domestic helper, construction worker, barber, hairdresser, factory worker, roadside sweeper, gravedigger and those who do odd jobs to survive.

Let’s use this recent global pandemic to honour sometimes invisible heroes who do the necessary jobs to keep things moving.

Whether they are citizens of this country or immigrants, respect them and know that Covid-19 does not care about how much money you have. To this deadly virus, we are all the same.

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