April A2Z, Life

What Comes to Your Mind When I Say Essential Services?

Can you list any 5 things that come to your mind when I say Essential Services? I would really appreciate if you could put the answer in the comment section at the end of the post once you’re done reading.

Coronavirus is a list of blatant truths staring at our faces. But today, I’ll just pick one truth to deal with. How many of those elite white collar jobs are being considered essential right now? Let me start with my kind – The Chartered Accountants. Most of the companies have shut down. They have no sales for about a month now and there are almost no audits happening. I know that we’ll overcome this and we’ll require the CA services. I am not demeaning any job. I am only pointing out that we don’t give much value to the crucial things in life.

Let us look at the essential services that are still running – The Doctors, Nurses AND the cleaning staff, the Pharmacists, the Police, the Bank Employees, the shops selling necessities, the grocers, the food delivery guys, the truck-drivers, the crematorium and so on. I know that the list is inexhaustible. But the services we’re highly dependent on are the ones that give us food, keep us healthy, handle our money and dispose the dead! Additionally, since we lack ethics, the Police becomes the essential sector because we’ve reduced education to ‘means to earn a living’ rather than ‘means to life’.

Doctors and Health workers are being attacked in different parts of the country. In Indore, a mob attacked doctors who went to take samples of coronavirus suspects; the very same doctors who are right now sacrificing their lives to save hundred other lives. In Karnataka, Health workers who were identifying persons with symptoms were attacked by mob and robbed of their phones and wallets.

The farmers still have to work if we need food to eat because, let’s admit it! We don’t have the basic life skills. I know how to file an Income Tax Return. But I don’t know how to grow my food. And here I am in the comfort of my house, while the farmers who have led the most difficult and unstable lives are still at a loss. During calamities, they lose all their crops. Many of them quit, go to other states and become construction workers because making buildings give them a more stable income than cultivating crops. Those very same migrant workers went home a few weeks back because, Coronavirus. Such a mess! How do we set this right?

Let me go back to the question in the beginning of the post. Can you list any 5 things that come to your mind when I say Essential Services? Did any of you mention arts?

How many times have you turned to music and books when you were heart broken or felt neglected? It is amazing how we turn to music, movies and arts when we are at our worst and yet we never considered them as Essential. Granted! Some might argue that art isn’t technically a service, but it is indeed a service to the mankind. Imagine life without art.

In the privileged world, the demand for art has gone up all of a sudden. People are resorting to movies, TV shows, music, and books and while the consumption of art has skyrocketed, the creation has seen an unusual increase too. I see more people getting into yoga, cooking, writing, photography, dance, and painting both traditional and digital. While the lockdown is painful, people are sane because of art!

A few days back, I came across a new page on Instagram called ‘Art of Covid Days’.

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Ever since it was made, it has been flooding with artwork from around the globe. Another wonderful pattern that I saw during these days was artists finding artists, appreciating them, and collaborating with them. The social distancing have brought people together through art. I myself wrote a story with the help of a friend’s photographs; a collaboration that wouldn’t have happened if not for this quarantine.

Running to art for an escape has been the human pattern and art has always helped you heal.

Dead Poets Society
We’ve all heard it. We’ve all read it. Have we all agreed?

Now let me ask you this. What if this whole thing is a warning to show us how wrong we were? And the answer to it is that we need to change the patterns. If we don’t, what comes next will be bigger; made to end us. We need to make farmers’ lives better. We need better educators and an education system that prepares us for life. People in blue collar jobs must be encouraged, rather than looked down upon. The world should aim for a day when there will be more Teachers and less Police. Because if you bring them up right, they won’t need much correction, right?

Now tell me, what comes to your mind when I say essential services?


This post is a part of April A2Z Challenge 2020 with Blogchatter. Every day of April, I will be publishing one post on the Theme, ‘Life in the time of Coronavirus’. If you like my writings, you can also follow me on Instagram at @afew.handpickedthings.

Featured Photo by Austin Kehmeier on Unsplash