Working from home is a privilege that not everyone has. Many are struggling to make a living so they can support their families during this pandemic.
Source: Tom Fisk 
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Jakarta — People around the world are cheering for essential workers who are working tirelessly amid this pandemic. Many social media platforms are crowded with posts of appreciation, to show support and spread hope to these workers.
While medical workers are often the first to come to mind, there is a broad range of essential workers in our economy. Take police officers who must be on standby to make sure regulations are being followed and supermarket workers who come to work every day so quarantined residents can purchase food and other essential goods. In addition, there are also waste management operators and scavengers, whose hard work keeps our environment clean and safe.
But it's not without risk or challenges.
With the rise of COVID-19 cases, infectious waste from both healthcare facilities and households has started to accumulate in landfills, perhaps in greater amounts than before . The problem is, some households may be asymptomatic and they may have been unknowingly throwing out virus-laden trash . With no knowledge of which household is affected, waste management operators and scavengers are at a higher risk of being infected.
Other than that, waste management workers and scavengers, particularly in Indonesia, often have inadequate self-protection gears, such as masks, goggles, or face shields, which are the appropriate gear recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for people handling healthcare waste . And it's not only their health that is compromised; it's also that of their families. If they were to contract the virus, they may not have insurance or access to already overflowing public health facilities.
However, on a positive note, more and more people are becoming aware of this issue. Greeneration Foundation, Waste4Change, Kitabisa.com, and more than 67 environmental communities are holding a fundraising campaign, where the funds will be used to supply basic necessities for our waste operators and scavengers, including cloth masks, hand soap, hand sanitizer, rubber/textile gloves, and nutritional supplies. Regardless of the amount, this initiative will help to provide a safe working environment for our unsung heroes in the midst of the pandemic.
For those at home, segregating waste will also help to ease their burden. This means putting infectious waste into a separate container so they don't get mixed with other domestic waste.
Even one small act of kindness can make a difference!
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Disclaimer: we are in no way affiliated with these fundraisers or volunteer organizers, we are merely conveying the information we have found that are promoted publicly.