While the nation has been getting behind the NHS and care workers, stepping onto doorsteps to ‘clap for carers’ battling with Covid-19; there has been a growing sentiment that we don’t appreciate enough the vital – and sometimes dangerous – work they do. But there has been greater appreciation for the many others not traditionally thought of as working on the ‘front line’: bus drivers, the shelf stackers and bar workers, the bin men and the many others doing what is perhaps only belatedly being recognised as ‘essential’ work.
But is the wartime rhetoric and applauding of ‘heroes’ overdone, and the list of key workers overlong? Will everything return to normal after the crisis is over, or will public support and gratitude lead to better pay and services, and a new appreciation of public service?
Introduced by Jon Bryan, trade union official and treasurer of The Great Debate and Dr Frankie Anderson, psychiatry trainee and co-founder of Sheffield Salon.