This report is part of a special National Day series called #HeroesUnmasked. The series pays tribute to the UAE’s front-liners: The people who faced the coronavirus head on — no second thoughts, no questions asked — all for the love of the country.
For Palestinian resident Einas Essam Holayil, who works as a laboratory technologist, being one of the front-liners during the Covid-19 pandemic is more than just a professional duty.
“I cherish the UAE the same way as my home country. I was raised here and got an education and a career. Being a member of the frontline team is an honour and keeping prepared for the service is the least I could do to try and give something in return for this generous country. Being part of the on-duty team gives the opportunity to show our sincere gratitude to this beloved country,” Einas told Khaleej Times.
Keeping safe and protected while being on the spot 24/7 is a top priority for Einas and her team.
“Being exposed to the potentially Covid-19 positive patients is one of the daily risks and challenges I face. Hence, I ensure to stay protected by wearing a face shield, gloves, and PPE and keep using sanitisers.
“I and the other team members have to make sure to reflect an honourable image and be a role model for others. Showing a willingness to be on a round-the-clock standby is part of the job. We work on a variable rather than fixed shifts.
“The country has provided me with a decent life and everything I ever dreamed of. One has always the obligation to carry out one’s duties properly. Working under these exceptional circumstances is a further reason for that.”
She hoped that by next year, the pandemic would be something from the past. “I really hope the crisis will pass soon. Hope for all people to stay healthy and safe.”
The message that Einas would like to convey is that “prevention is better than cure”. “One has always to stay safe. That is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone has to carry sanitisers and gloves wherever one goes. We should respect the social distancing rule at all time and comply with the authorities’ safety guidelines.”
“We should avoid celebrations and gatherings. We should consider others’ safety not just our own,” she added.
Reflecting on what she has gone through during the last few months, Einas gets emotional. “When the pandemic first hit, I was serving long and round-the-clock shifts, and not being able to see my parents, was part of the sacrifices I was more than willing to make. I would cry and be almost on the verge of a breakdown. Thank God, that is behind me now and with the team’s support, we managed to get over it.”