I was in a deep sleep and heard noises of people walking in the hallway. With droopy eyes, I felt like I was seeing lights at a distance from my window. I thought I was in a dream until my dad suddenly woke me up. “It was 4am.” He said, my grandfather is unwell and the paramedics have come to take him to the hospital. My reality started to sink in with the flashing lights of the ambulance as it got more vivid and closer. Later on, I was told to wear a mask for the safety of the paramedics before I come out of my room. When I came out, I saw two paramedics, covered in protective suits, with oxygen cylinders on their back and faces, covered with masks and glass visors. It was a scary sight.

As the luminous lights of the ambulance slowly dimmed in the morning dawn, my grandfather was taken to the hospital. Tears were rolling down my eyes as sadness and uncertainty took over my family. The day went on quietly and everyone was trying to keep busy with their daily routine, but deep down, everybody was worried. The hospital staff would call without fail every morning to update his health status. After challenging times and selfless efforts of the health care workers as they brought my loved ones together, my family felt complete and was full of joy. However, I wondered how we all stayed home with no contact with people due to covid-19, while the health care workers all the way from paramedics to administration, nurses and doctors worked relentlessly by risking themselves to exposure. For health care workers, it was an innate commitment and passion for being in health care, and a desire to serve humanity when they are needed the most.

The true heroes were doing God's work by risking themselves to exposure when Covid-19 was widespread. I acknowledge their efforts and to show my gratitude and respect for such heroes in our community, I incepted a 100 kms walk club. Since the health care workers brought my loved ones together so I can share moments of joy and laughter with them, I will be walking 10 kms with my family to show gratitude towards them. I want them to be remembered all the time so I have spread my 100 km walk over the 10 long weekends throughout the year starting from Jan 1, 2023 and ending on January 1, 2024. Any funds raised with my 100 kms walk club will be donated to the local Hospital.

I, Rajvir Khanuja, am a Grade 10 student at King's College School and I invite everyone to join this movement of showing appreciation and gratitude towards our local health care workers, who risk themselves to keep our families healthy and our loved ones together. Let’s make a commitment with our families to participate in this walk of 10 km on each of the long weekends throughout the year to honor their efforts. We will create a stronger bond with our family and friends while doing something together in a good cause. Walking 10 kms can be an excellent way to improve one’s health, well-being and overall quality of life. Our heartful efforts will show gratitude and respect towards our health care workers.

I hope your family will join this movement of appreciation and gratitude for health care workers.

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