Thursday evening – Tonight sees a final weekly two minute clap for carers and other key workers. Organisers of these heartfelt testimonials deeming this 10th appreciative applause a fitting juncture to draw a line under these tributes.

This last applause coinciding with a good friend’s first shift as a nursing assistant in a hospital A&E department. Her typical graft ordinarily undertaken amongst the corridors and chambers of care homes.

Calling her work in last 2-3 months of planet COVID labour as a game of Russian roulette would be over-egging the melodrama. However, on some level I suppose that observation does bear some basis in fact.

My buddy Audrey Cheesecloth, whose current locale sided with the House of Lancaster during the 15th century War of the Roses, laughs in the face of such workplace danger. That being said, as its emitted underneath her personal protective equipment (PPE) mask, it’s doubtful you’d witness this chortling.

Strong of work ethic, Audrey refuses to be fazed by COVID-19’s confrontational agenda, or the massed ranks of occasionally volatile ‘customers’ who attend A&E departments. Her planned offbeat threats of “Sit down and shut up, or I’ll sing a medley of Daniel O’Donnell refrains!” will undoubtedly prove an effective strategy for keeping waiting room order.

Despite her diminutive frame, I’d imagine she’d defend herself with fervour if confronted by patient rancour. I should know, we met following her forming a protection racket in the Wakefield area. Our unusual friendship blossoming from her extortion and my desire to avoid becoming part of the concrete propping up an east Lancashire flyover…… Or indeed being subject to a medley of Daniel O’Donnell refrains which she ordinarily targets at dissenters.

As with every man Jack of frontline workers, I’ve nothing but admiration for Audrey’s courage, tenacity and stoicism during coronavirus carnage. These carers selflessness and robust defiance of workplace danger a metaphorical Churchill ‘We Will Fight Them On The Beach‘ speech. Rousing actions underpinning a nation’s resolve during a battle against our stealthy nemesis.

I wish Audrey well, and safety, during her numerous shifts either as carer, or nursing assistant. If you reading this Mrs C, I’d also like you to know I’ll have the £200 protection money I owe by close of play Friday. Consequently, you’ve no need to bring the waterboarding equipment as leverage to extort the said dosh.

iu-7

Yours truly commences this paragraph following a fervent last applause for Audrey and her fellow key workers. As I clapped with slightly concaved palms, allowing a heartier boom on hand collision, my mum clattered a metal saucepan by spoon with similar gusto.

As mater and me reside in a small tributary cul-de-sac off the main estate avenue, it’s hard to objectively gauge attendance numbers congregating for the appreciative caterwaul. Subjectively, though, week on week there appears fewer locals out and about, along with diminishing noise levels.

I’ve no strong opinion either way whether this Thursday evening ritual should cease. However, bearing in mind participants bestowing this tribute maybe slightly dwindling, perhaps indicating now is the juncture to stop, or temporarily shelve, this appreciative gesture.

God bless the good ship NHS and all who serve on her!