While many non-essential workers were allowed to work from home since the pandemic began, essential workers at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19 had to put their fears aside and report for duty in person.
But now many corporations and individuals have found ways to show appreciation for their role in keeping the population safe.
Acting Inspector Alicia Piggott of the TTPS, Criminal Investigations Department(CID), Tobago Division, leads a group of officers, going above and beyond the call of duty to recognise workers’ efforts in a tangible way.
The initiative, Thank You Frontliners, which began in May, gives lunches, snacks, and other edibles to workers from the security and health services, banks, and garbage collection.
Piggott said the media’s daily coverage of COVID-19 shows people struggling to make ends meet. However, the struggles of frontliners do not make the news.
“I decided to show appreciation to frontliners. I started with my staff simply packaging a bottle of water, a bottle of juice and snacks,” she told Guardian Media.
“With the lockdown, you have frontline workers, at work and sometimes they forgot to purchase a bottle of water or a bottle of juice or something to munch on… We turn up at their work to show we appreciate them.”
Inspector (Ag) Piggott said she started funding the initiative with a percentage of her salary. However, soon after, businesses began donating foodstuffs after they saw her efforts.
Piggott, who is also TTPS’s Tobago Media Ambassador, said the initiative has already reached over 400 workers and is targeting 80 more this week.
She said she understands the struggle and advises her colleagues to “be patient, continue with the resilience and don’t give up the fight against COVID- 19.”
The Tobago media ambassador wants all her frontline colleagues to remember home and work balance is crucial. She advises them to find a way to relax when away from work.
She thanks businesses such as Pennysavers limited, AMCO, HADCO, Associated Brands Ltd, Bermudez Biscuits Company, and Kiss Baking Company for their contributions to the initiative.