THANK YOU FRONT LINE WORKERS. WE ARE GRATEFUL.
I am a caricature artist and have had the absolute pleasure of drawing this group of hero's, the COVID19 front line workers at Brewer Park COVID19 Assessment Centre in Ottawa.
When I arrived at the COVID19 Assessment Centre, a group of front line workers were taking a break, taking off their masks, sitting in chairs far from one another having their apple or a cup of coffee. I looked around and saw good people who save lives. I felt the contrast between what the front line works do everyday with what I was there to do. I was there to entertain them. I draw funny pictures. That was the contrast I felt. Their work vs mine.
Once my set up was complete the front line workers began arriving one at a time. They sat at the recommended 6 foot distance from me and I started drawing. We had good talks. The front line workers told me stories, shared smiles and tears and showed me heart warming drawings that children had drawn and sent them after visiting. Simple drawings with so much impact, so rich in emotion and appreciation; a masked figure with big un-matching blue eyes and a slanted body in blue hospital gown with angel wings on the back, a painting depicting a nurse saving a child from a virus bigger than the child. Many were emotional talking about a colleague that they had lost to COVID, an elderly parent they had not seen since for months or a child they shared with another parent now quarantined in another city. The front line workers were tired.
As they sat in front of me, I couldn't help but notice their hands. Almost all of the front line workers had sore looking and irritated hands. Hand sanitizer is not kind to skin. Skin dies and peels. Nails split. Split nails hurt. Despite the pain and discomfort, the front line workers know they will be at work tomorrow, constantly sanitizing their hands, to ensure that they keep us safe and healthy as we return to our families.
It felt great to be in that room full of giving people. When the public goes to a COVID19 Assessment Centre, they see masked people busy at work. I got to see them without the masks and they were BEAUTIFUL both inside and out. I was happy to make them smile or laugh for a moment. It was my little token of appreciation.