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Great Personalities at the Forefront of the COVID-19 Battle

Many great personalities have been at the forefront of fighting COVID-19. Some have sacrificed their time, money and other resources to ensure the battle against COVID-19 is won.

While doctors, nurses and other health workers are at the frontline of the COVID-19 battle, and they deserve all the praise and support, there are other great personalities in different fields also engaged in the COVID-19 battle.

It is a sign of good things to come when famous people find it in their hearts and minds to use their fame and great personality.

Great Personalities at the Forefront of the covid-19 Battle

Sports Personalities

Many athletes are among those leading the response to the virus, helping and comforting people in need of medical treatment and assistance.

Paula Pareto, Argentina’s reigning Olympic -48kg judo champion, has been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19. She works as an orthopaedic doctor at San Isidro Hospital just north of Buenos Aires. She returned to work after spending two weeks in self-isolation following the Yekaterinburg Grand Slam.

Although orthopaedic doctors are not on the front line, we are a part of the health team facing this pandemic, and we will help where necessary.

Paula Pareto

Former Dutch hockey goalkeeper Joyce Sombroek has been at the forefront in the COVID-19 battle at home. She is a decorated sportsperson having won a gold medallist at London 2012 and silver medallist at Rio 2016 and is considered one of the best goalkeepers in history. She was forced to retire after Rio due to recurring hip issues where she went on to complete her medical studies at Amsterdam’s Vrije Universiteit and working in different areas in the accident, emergency and as a general practitioner.

The most important thing is providing care to those who need it. I’m really happy that I can do my job, and I think that accounts for everyone working in healthcare or any other vital job.

Joyce Sombroek

Australia hockey goalkeeper Rachael Lynch is a nurse in Perth with a 13-year international career in neuro-rehabilitation, helping patients who have suffered strokes or live with multiple sclerosis. Since the announcement that Tokyo Olympics would take place in 2021, she diverted her attention to fighting COVID-19 by going back to the hospital.

I’m so proud and thankful to all the health care workers who are helping fight Covid19.

Rachael Lynch

Hayley Wickenheiser, a four-time Olympic ice hockey gold medallist, retired from the sport in 2017 to go to medical school at the University of Calgary. She has been helping people in hospital emergency rooms since January 2020 in and around Toronto and is also using her social media to spread awareness on the need to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines like social distancing.

Jo Brigden-Jones, an Australian Kayaker, has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 battle as a paramedic for New South Wales (NSW) Ambulances. She was training for the Tokyo Olympics and planned to retire in August last year when the pandemic happened and she shelved her plans. She went back to work transporting those who are suffering from COVID-19.

Kim Daybell, a two-time Paralympian (table tennis), is assisting the British National Health Service as a medical SHO (senior house officer) managing COVID patients. He completed his medical degree at the University of Leeds in 2018, and has since worked part-time as a junior doctor at the Whittington Hospital in North London.

I’m lucky to have the skill-set to help fight what is going on and that is a positive that I’m taking.

Kim Daybell

Women in STEM

Dr Özlem Türeci co-founded biotechnology company BioNTech in Germany in 2008 with her husband Dr Ugur Sahin. In 2020, BioNTech and pharmaceutical firm Pfizer developed the first approved RNA-based vaccine against COVID-19. BioNTech and Pfizer plan to produce two billion doses of the vaccine by the end of 2021 to aid in the battle against COVID-19.

Paediatrician and clinical scientist Soumya Swaminathan is best known for her groundbreaking research on tuberculosis (TB). Dr Swaminathan was appointed the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Chief Scientist in 2019 and has been coordinating international work on vaccine development.

We have to step up vaccination quickly... and suppress transmission as much as possible.

Dr Swaminathan

Ramida Juengpaisal built a COVID-19 tracker in March 2020 alongside her colleagues at web design firm 5LAB in Bangkok, Thailand. The project gave the city’s eight million residents updated news and information on the pandemic and aimed to help stop the spread of misinformation.

Professor Sarah Gilbert is the Oxford Project Lead for the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine which is approved for use worldwide by the WHO. She is currently working on a new version of the vaccine to tackle the South African variant.

Somaya Faruqi and her all-female robotics team began developing a low-cost, lightweight ventilator using locally available, second-hand car parts after the first COVID-19 case was reported in her home province of Herat in Afghanistan.

Neema Kaseje is the Founder of the Surgical Systems Research Group in Kenya. The organisation seeks to expand access to health services rapidly by leveraging youth, technology and community health workers. Her efforts and those of her organisation have yielded a flat COVID-19 curve with maximum prevention and containment in Siaya.

Professor Devi Sridhar, an American public health researcher, is a leading authority on COVID-19 in the UK and Professor and Chair of Global Public Health at Edinburgh University. She is also known for her work around Ebola in West Africa. She spoke to the World Economic Forum’s World Vs Virus podcast why people of colour - ethnic minorities in Europe and North America - are at greater risk of contracting and dying from COVID-19.

Anggia Prasetyoputri from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and Latifah Nurahmi from the Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology (ITS) in Surabaya, East Java, won the 2020 L’Oréal-UNESCO National Fellowship For Women in Science (FWIS), after they were found to have made extraordinary contributions to innovations to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Celebrities

Many celebrities have turned up to be at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19. To an extent, some of them were also affected by postponing or cancelling tours.

Celebrities are offering assistance in ways they can, such as donations, live-streamed music concerts and time. This not only keeps their fans entertained but also helps the less fortunate all around the world.

Some artists contributed items for auction to raise funds for Roadie Relief, which is helping live crew workers get funding during the COVID-19 lockdown. The Auction, which ran up to April 2020 included items donated from Foo Fighters, Korn, Faith No More, 311, Kiss, Ghost, Fever 333 and Bon Jovi.

The rock band Shinedown donated $230,000 to Direct Relief from their “Atlas Falls” COVID-19 fundraiser and another $20,000. Direct Relief is a humanitarian aid organization, active in all 50 US states and more than 80 countries, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies – without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay.

The Weeknd donated $1,000,000 to COVID-19 relief efforts on with $500,000 going to MusiCares, and the other half to front-line healthcare workers of the Scarborough Health Network.

FKA Twigs launched a fundraiser for sex workers in the United Kingdom who lost their income through the COVID-19 pandemic. The GoFundMe initiative will benefit SWARM Collective, Lysistrata, and the East London Strippers Collective.

Post Malone’s Shaboink brand teamed up with Direct Relief to donate 40,000 N95 masks to help keep front-line medical workers safe during the pandemic.

Watsky, a rapper and poet, raised more than $106,000 for Sweet Relief’s COVID-19 Fund, which is providing financial assistance for musicians and industry workers impacted by the pandemic.

Ariana Grande shared her roundup of organizations that she has been supporting during the pandemic.

Shakira donated ventilators as well as thousands of N95 masks for health care workers in Barranquilla, Colombia.

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Gĩthĩnji is the founder of afrocave.com. He is passionate about politics and governance, public finance management and cycling.@GithinjiKE