During the darkest days of the pandemic they went out to put the chest to care for the sick, help prevent further infections, feed the population, provide security and maintain some “Engines” on in the Big Apple. This Wednesday, thousands of these workers, considered essential, paraded in Lower Manhattan, while New Yorkers applauded them excitedly at the Heroes Parade, hosted by the City of New York.
This exciting parade of more than 14 floats from where colorful slips were thrown, he recalled that the great mass celebrations that for decades have defined New York are back, but this time he had a feeling that came together in a thunderous cry: Thanks!
Employees of the hospital system, from cooks to cleaning personnel, accompanied by doctors, nurses, specialists, policemen, firefighters, workers of the transport system, the workforce that fed the city and hundreds of unions that did not rest on what worst of the public health crisis, they walked amid cheers throughout the Canyon of Heroes.
The Puerto Rican teacher Lidia Pacheco, 65 years old, she got up very early and came from the Loisaida neighborhood to applaud with her two flags and celebrate those whom she describes as great heroes.
“Last year it was no worse thanks to them, who never left the emergencies, despite the fact that it was a new virus, that no one knew where it was going. They put his life and that of his family at risk. This is little for what they deserve! This today is a Hispanic partyBecause it was our people who went to work, not caring about anything, ”Lidia exclaimed between sobs.
“You have to believe in science”
While shouting her gratitude to workers who moved through the Stop that began in Battery Park to the Mayor’s Office in Lower Manhattan, the 20-year-old educator living in the city stressed that at this moment when everything indicates that it is going back to The normality “You have to believe in science.”
“We are as New Yorkers coming back to life. This pandemic had killed us in some way. Since we have vaccines available on every corner, people who are watching must inject themselves. It’s the logical thing to do, ”said the islander, who remembers that last year she and all her children became infected with COVID-19.
Throughout the history of the city of skyscrapers in the Canyon of Heroes, athletes, astronauts, war heroes have been honored, now thousands of representatives of a workforce that continues to contribute to lift to the five counties of ashes.
“They deserve a march for this site, because it is something that is reserved for the greatest people in history. Well, here are some of the people who made history in New York City’s most difficult time, ”said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
A city that returns
Luisa Pérez, a Dominican internist, who works in the community care group Somos, was one of the 2,500 health sector workers estimated to have participated in this parade. The Quisqueyana with 20 years practicing medicine in the poorest neighborhoods of the city concludes that the city “has already returned.”
“We threw New York ahead. That is why we are celebrating this battle won. First last year we focused as a team on massing the tests, now we are moving the vaccines in our neighborhoods, ”Pérez said.
For her part, Sandra Lindsay, the Queens nurse who made history by being the first person vaccinated in the country led the parade with Mayor De Blasio and the first lady Chirlane McCray.
“It’s like feeling the embrace of the whole city. In a way, my presence here is to remind us of the value of this vaccine to put an end to this tragedy. A few months ago everything was very different. ”, Lindsay commented to local media.
“We are all necessary”
That same affection was also felt by thousands of workers in the Union 1119 SEIU that brings together thousands of hospital industry workers, from emergency critical maintenance workforces, pharmacists and even medical assistants.
The Puerto Rican hospital worker, Jonathan Guzman He now recounts with enthusiasm how after 16 months when the most terrible increase in the number of infected was experienced, thousands of his colleagues never fainted in hospital emergency rooms. Others sadly They cannot tell it, nor celebrate it.
“Here we are applauding colleagues who they struggled, cleaning, preparing food, offering safety to the sick. Today we value the lives of our families more, because many of us returned home with fear of infecting them all. We overcome a war zone. And that must be celebrated, ”said Jonathan.
The immigrant Peruvian Lorena Izaguirre, 52, he also raised his cry of pride for his companions. The South American immigrant works in the cleaning area of the Hospital Elmhurst, in Queens and relates that despite the fear he never stopped attending his work between April, May and June of last year, when not even the doctors understood well what was happening with the virus.
“In my case, I had the possibility to ask for days off and protect my family. But he was thinking of the suffering of doctors, nurses, and the surge of patients. Here we understood that we are all important. In an emergency like the one we live in, even the most famous specialist doctor has value in a hospital, even who cleans the trash can and the bathrooms “exclaimed Lorena.
On the essentials podium
The winemakers, supermarket workers and the ‘deliveries’ that did not cease a single day to distribute dishes and vital products in all corners of the city, as well as educators, employees of nursing homes and doormen of residential buildings, also had a seat on the podium of this tribute to the ” essential ”.
In this chapter of the tribute to the Heroes also had their own page the undocumented workers, who also did not pause during the most agonizing stage of a city that saw more than 33,400 of its residents for complications associated with COVID-19.
The Colombian Luis Gil who was part of the organizers of a 23-day hunger strike, to draw attention to how a workforce that also helped in the darkest moments of this crisis, were being excluded Of all the relief plans, he was also a voice that represented thousands of his fellow immigrants in this parade.
“I am very happy today, but we come from a struggle because hundreds of our essential workers had been left out of any aid plan. That is already being fixed. When no one wanted to work or leave their home, we were not afraid ”, he stressed.
“We were the martyrs”
Also the domestic workers who cared for the elderly and children like the Mexican Barbara López, resident of Sunset Park in Brooklyn, they raised their flags in this celebration. A labor task that is largely in the hands of Hispanic immigrants in New York City.
“Those of us who work in family homes do not have any union to support us. Many of our colleagues were fired without the right to anything. And others worked long hours and separated for months from their families. We Hispanics were the martyrs of this crisis, but now we will be the heroes to lift it up again ”, concluded the woman from Puebla who is part of the Alliance of Domestic Workers created in 2019.
El Diario: a window of support in the midst of the crisis
The New York Journal was also honored at the Parade de los Héroes for its work during the pandemic. Despite the difficulties that the closure decree implied for all sectors to stop the pandemic expansion, this medium never abandoned its mission of being one of the main windows for guide and inform Hispanic communities, one of the groups hardest hit by this crisis.
“Being witnesses today of so many expressions of gratitude for the work carried out during such dark moments that the city lived, only reinforces our commitment to informative service to the Hispanic community,” he said. Carmen Villavicencio, executive editor of The newspaper.
The oldest Spanish-language newspaper in the country, maintained you activate all your platforms, both digitally and in print, to bring to the homes of the Latino community useful information in the battle against Covid-19.
“El Diario, beyond being a news outlet, is an institution that has been watching over more than 100 years for the interests of Latinos of the Big Apple. We are an active voice in the fight for the rights of our people ”, he added.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.