Thanksgiving Day- A tribute to Frontline Health workers

Thanksgiving is the reflection of blessing and gratitude. It has its roots in both religious and cultural traditions. Thanksgiving is usually celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. For this year, Thanksgiving day falls on Nov 25th, 2021. As per history, the day has been celebrated for the harvest done that year. The festival is celebrated by the Christians, more like thanking the almighty. It is a federal holiday in the United States.

The same festival is distinguished in other regions, like in Canada it is celebrated as a harvest festival. The people indulge in dinner for Thanksgiving day with traditional food. The history of Thanksgiving day began in 1541, it was held by the Spanish explorer. But today it's been continued in many other forms. It is celebrated as an opportunity to express your gratitude but history has more layers which include feasting, economic recovery, and entrepreneurial spirit.

Thanksgiving festival marks the beginning of holidays in America, though the festival is exclusively celebrated in America but not in the major parts of India. But let us take this moment to thank our Frontline Healthcare professionals during the Covid-19 pandemic.

What is Thanksgiving Day?

Thanksgiving is that time of celebration, making good food, and giving thanks. People in America make it a purpose to gather with their family and friends. The preparation for the festival starts a week before. While the day of celebration starts in the church and ends with the early dinner. Western culture brings the tradition of cooking turkeys and making extravagant dishes.

Thanksgiving Day celebration in India

India is a multi-culture secular country. People believe in “Unity in Diversity”. Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in quite a few parts of India, it is majorly observed in the Christian part of India. Thanksgiving is celebrated in the state of Goa but with a different name. In India, it is popularly known as Ladin or Ladainha. During this ritual, people thank all the gods for the benefits of their survival. They start preparing for the celebration with wheat, wine, and candles.

From the religious point of view, It is that time of the year to cut the first harvest from the rice field and offer the first milk-filled corn to the god. It is done to seek blessings for the year around harvest.

With the above history of Thanksgiving day, we have different versions of celebration for different cultures, different countries, different states. With all the understanding of history, Thanksgiving is all about expressing your gratitude, being thankful for the environment in which you live.

In the past year, the world was severely affected by the Covid-19 virus. The virus did not have class, humans were badly affected by the situation, there is no pain more than losing your loved ones. Beyond all this, there were a set of people in the form of almighty to protect the world, the frontline health care professionals. We shall take this opportunity, dedicate the day and celebrate the health care professional for their contribution during the time of the pandemic.

Thanksgiving Day- A tribute to Frontline Health workers

The term Covid-19 has become a household name in recent years, and the awareness of frontline workers attained more global attention. Cleanliness became the necessity of life and remained at the forefront of people's minds right from healthcare professionals to the general public. The nursing profession took the headlines of the media, during this time the media shadowed their work, realizing their struggle and observing their work. During the time of pandemic ICU and emergency departments entered the living room all over the world.

The world watched the real-time struggle of the nurses and healthcare workers. They have heard the cries for help, they have seen deaths but continued to work putting their life at risk. Things were still not easy, they had to work with the adequate PPE kit (Personal protective equipment), they had to extend their work without food and water. They were made to reuse the contaminated masks due to the global shortage of PPE kits. The world watched how they coped up with multiple deaths in a single shift. We knew you were exhausted, still scared of passing on the virus to your family, to your loved ones but continued to save lives and provide supportive care.

Here is the data collected of how many healthcare workers got affected by the covid-19 virus.

While it was seen that most of the healthcare workers were affected by the infections transmitted from the patients within the hospital environment.

  • In Maharashtra, 42% of the doctors were infected, 70.5% of the nurses, and 84% of medical workers were infected.
  • About 10 hospitals were closed during the pandemic time in Maharashtra.
  • 83% of doctors were quarantined, followed by 11% in Delhi and 6% in Karnataka.
  • More than 87000 medical staff were affected in the states- Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, West Bengal, and Gujarat. Among which 573 deaths occurred due to the infection.
  • In Maharashtra state alone, with 7.3 lakhs of covid cases, 28% of infected people were healthcare workers and 50% of deaths occurred from the overall affected count.

Challenges Faced by Healthcare workers and Doctors

  • The violence against doctors has increased in the past decades, 75% of doctors had to face this during the pandemic time.
  • The attacks were verbal, abuse, aggressive gestures, and verbal threats. There were also a few cases of manhandling, murder, and abduction.
  • There was also mistrust and misquotes about the profession in social media.
  • Aggressive emotional responses from the relatives of the patient caused damage to the healthcare professionals.
  • The situation was quite worse in government hospitals, where the medical professionals faced a shortage of PPE kits.
  • Healthcare professionals were treated more like untouchables.
  • Many panicked about being contracted with the virus themselves.
  • There were long working hours.
  • They were prone to infection and spread them to their families.
  • Apart from working, they were going through severe stress.

There have been several reported cases of violence against healthcare professionals during the time of the pandemic. Doctors and other healthcare professionals responding to the global crisis are trying to save the lives of people, families, and communities even during the time of shortage of PPE kits, they have been the unexpected target during the pandemic.

Although the Healthcare professionals were the soldiers of the pandemic battle, there were many challenging situations in each individual's life. Despite these obstacles, healthcare workers adapted themselves to the crisis. Their sacrifice during the pandemic is difficult to describe in words.

Thanksgiving Day- A tribute to Frontline Health workers: A conclusion

Thanksgiving Day will be quite different this year. Let us show our gratitude for the healthcare workers or called covid warriors. There is a deep sense of gratitude for the ones who sacrificed their lives while providing service to the country. On the other hand, the success of the covid-19 vaccine has hinged on people across the country. For all these advances in the process, we feel immensely grateful for the healthcare workers.

As we look forward, today the situation might be under control. This would have never happened without them. Takedown your time to jot the list of reasons to be grateful for the healthcare workers. As you start the holidays by making memories, and while enjoying your thanksgiving meal remember to place your love and gratitude. Let's make this year's Thanksgiving day - A tribute to the Frontline Health workers.