You may have seen videos of people banging pots and pans, or expressing gratitude in other ways to encourage and celebrate healthcare workers and their service on the frontlines of the Coronavirus response.
They are heroes in Canada and they deserve all our support and praise.
But in some countries, like the ones where we serve, health-care workers are being attacked and stigmatized. They are being accused of spreading the virus. We have seen this before. There were more than 300 attacks on Ebola health workers in 2019, leaving six dead and 70 wounded, according to Médecins Sans Frontières.
We know that the number of attacks on health-care workers are under-reported due to a lack of robust monitoring of violence against health workers.
Our partners tell us of similar experiences. In addition to the increased risk of contracting the virus due to a lack of protective equipment, they are facing physical violence and threats. Doctors are abused because people think they are the carriers of the virus or are blamed for their deceased one’s death and front-line staff are being pelted with stones, spat on, or forcefully evicted from their homes.
Thankfully, countries are bringing in new laws to deter the abuse. In India, violent criminals could face up to seven years in jail for serious attacks. Also, the lockdown has now been lifted in the country. While this helps the people we serve by ensuring they can access medicine and they or their families can go into the city to work, it also hurts them. COVID-19 is spreading fast and hospitals are at capacity.
Will you please join us in praying for these front-line heroes and their safety, as well as their families’? Will you also pray they will have enough protective equipment during this pandemic?
Father in Heaven,
We come to you, humbled by the devastating effects the coronavirus has had on a global scale. And yet we know, as the Maker of this Universe, that you are always in control. Nothing surprises you, and you hold the world in your hands.
Lord Jesus, we ask for protection over our health-care workers, here in Canada and abroad. Many are working with insufficient protective equipment. Lord, please provide for their needs. We pray you will protect them from COVID-19. We pray for their stress and energy levels, that you would fill them with your mighty strength and power.
Father, we think especially of health-care workers who are serving in countries where they aren’t respected, and instead wrongly blamed and attacked for the spread of this virus. We pray for them and for their families. May you send your angels to guard and protect them. May all countries enact laws to protect those serving on the frontline. We pray they will choose to persist in their good work and be appreciated and respected for all they do.
Lord, you are our refuge and strength. You are an ever-present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1) and we trust in your goodness and mercy. We pray COVID-19 will stop spreading. We lift up people affected by neglected tropical diseases and all vulnerable populations into your hands. Lord, thank you for hearing their cries. We pray you will provide for them through this difficult time. We pray a safe and effective vaccine will be developed soon and become available to all.
Thank you for hearing our prayers and for your comforting words in John 16:33, which remind us of your sovereignty: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” We place all our burdens and cares on you, knowing you are great and you can carry them all.
In Jesus’ Name,