Seafarers, our unsung heroes during COVID19

Pic Courtesy: Capt Angad Bakshi

Dehradun, Initially, everyone thought that it was China’s problem alone. Today, we know otherwise. The first country to be hit by Covid-19 is now the only country boasting of a recovering economy and re-emerging population.

For the rest of the world, uncertainty is the only certainty.

The soon-to-be global pandemic began in late December with only a dozen cases in Wuhan, China. A month later, the Corona virus outbreak tightened its grip on the entire world. With several countries enforcing lockdowns that could last for months, turning the world economy upside down.

The Corona virus crisis has escalated to unprecedented levels. As casualties in China decrease, an ever-growing number of cases are on the rise in Europe. Soon after the World Health Organisation declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic, entire Italy was put under lockdown, followed by Spain, France and towards the end of March the United Kingdom and parts of USA were put under strict lockdown.

To slow the spread of the disease and mitigate its impact, travel has been curtailed across borders, both national and international. Rail, road and air has been hit and so have global ports.

Numerous industries have come to a complete stand still BUT the shipping sector is still navigating onward, upward. The fraternity is making sure that in these difficult times, delivering vital goods such as medical supplies, fuel and food is paramount.

Countries around the globe have closed borders and inbound flights to home have been grounded which has made crew changes impossible as those in the shipping industry stare into an uncertain future. Those home, are unsure what the future holds for them, and those at sea, worry about home and hearth but carry on their job despite contracts coming to an end. The commitment of these men and women at a time of unprecedented crisis, is a tale of valour and hard-work.

While there is wide spread support for the work done by healthcare paramedics, medical professionals, State administration and police etc, perhaps, it is also time we pay our gratitude to sea faring colleagues and professionals related to maritime transportation for their dedication and hard-work.

It is time for us, in the comfort of our homes, to not forget the services of our fellow seafarers who are working relentlessly to meet global demands.