Bernard Mendelman: Kovod-19 awards during COVID-19 outbreak

These “Kovod” awards go to those who have been risking their health and welfare to help us during these trying times, including grocery clerks and cashiers.

“Kovod” is the Yiddish word for honour and respect. The following are my Kovod-19 Awards — in no particular order — for those who have been risking their health and welfare to help us during these trying times:

1. Hospital doctors, nurses, attendants, and everyone, including the janitorial staff, that risk their lives so others can survive.

2. Restaurants and hospitality volunteers who are giving away food to the homeless and needy.

3. People who have arranged to have foster dogs comfort the elderly living alone.

4. Grocery stores and pharmacies that are designating certain opening hours specifically for the elderly and immune-compromised so that they need not face massive crowds and long lines.

5. Residents coming out on their balconies or safely gathering on the streets, observing the two-metre distance, singing, and playing musical instruments, bringing cheer and joy to those confined in their homes.

6. Grocery clerks, who now wear gloves and masks, dealing with barriers at the cash and maintaining social distancing, never knowing the condition of who they are serving.

7. The mail deliverers who make their daily rounds, even though most of the days all I get are notices from pizza joints offering 2-for-I specials.

8. Employers, although business has decreased, who have maintained the salaries of their employees, even though some have been laid off temporarily or are working from home.

9. Caregivers in seniors residences. Not only are they painfully watching some residents die from the virus but are also being vulnerably exposed to it themselves.

10. Scientists working day and night attempting to discover an effective vaccine.

11. Members of groups like MADA, who have been supplying free food boxes to the needy.

12. My newspaper carrier who delivers the local daily at front of my door at 5 a.m.

13. Funeral directors who face the mounting number of grieving families, comforting them as they are limited to saying normal goodbyes to their departed ones.

14. Ambulance drivers and first responders who quickly arrive on the scene, never really fully knowing what illness awaits them when they get there.

15. Volunteers who, every day, phone seniors who live alone to make sure they are healthy and who arrange to get them any necessities they may be lacking.

16. Daycare workers looking after young children while the parents are at work.

17. Publisac distributors who make sure the supermarket flyers and a copy of The Suburban reach me every week.

18. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier François Legault talking to us daily on television and updating us on the situation surrounding COVID-19. They also answer all questions from the media politely and truthfully — unlike the so-called leader of another country I won’t mention.

19. Each and every one of us who obeys the Public Heath Guide that includes washing our hands frequently, wearing facemasks and keeping the required distance.


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