Today we pause to remember key workers who have died in recent weeks of COVID-19: nurses, doctors, receptionists, hospital porters, bus drivers, delivery people and many more. As we remember the dead and their families, we salute those who continue their work delivering essential services for all whether they speak English, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin or any other language.
In the UK a minute’s silence will take place at 11am to commemorate the key workers who have died with coronavirus. The tribute will bring together ordinary people and those across the political spectrum including Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Kier Starmer.
In the UK alone, more than 100 NHS and care staff have died with the virus as have many transport and other key workers.
Donna Kinnair from the Royal College of Nursing said: “We’ve become used to hearing a great roar on a Thursday night for key workers, but this respectful silence will be a poignant reminder of the risks they run to keep us safe … This must not be the last time that sacrifice is recognised. The country and its leaders owe a tremendous debt to these key workers and the many more who are on shift again today.”
The minute’s silence was proposed by trade unions to fall on International Workers’ Memorial Day. Every year 28 April marks a remembrance of all those who have died because of their work – with this year a focus inevitably falling on those who have died in the face of COVID-19.