Last year, the word “testing” made it on the list of the most used words in the world. Most of us have become casual experts on coronavirus testing and the relative advantages of nasopharyngeal , nasal and saliva tests have replaced football in our conversations with friends and family. Even our parents and grandparents have added “PCR” to their daily vocabulary. The latest twist in the saga has made antigen tests compulsory for Czech businesses as part of efforts to limit the spread of the diseases. However, the transport business has been tested for quite some time – our patients, resilience and our drivers’ psychological fortitude have been sorely tested for months.
Mental health is an integral part of the overall health of each and every one of us. For those who can come back home after work every afternoon and relax with their loved ones, this family time plays an important role in dealing with the stresses of the “covid age”. Unfortunately, long-haul truck drivers do not have this luxury. They spend days, often multiple days, on the road. They sleep in their truck’s cabin or in hotels and mobile phones and the Internet have become their only connection to the world. Sadly, news coverage they find online has long been laser focused on the same sad theme – record number of new cases, rising death tolls, lack of vaccines and overwhelmed hospitals. The only thing that seems to change is which indicator is the worst on any particular day. Not exactly the psychological boost one may need.
But our truck drivers cannot escape and switch off even when they come home. Three times a week, they have to give up several hours of their free time to get compulsory antigen tests required each time they cross the Czech-German border as most of our long-haul lines do. By the way, there is no guarantee yet that the compulsory testing imposed on all companies, including VCHD, will have the same validity and will be accepted for cross border traffic as testing done in certified centres with official certificates. Oh well, the truck driving profession is getting tougher and tougher all the time. And the covid era has been one hell of a stress test that has lasted for more than a year now. So if you meet a truck with the VCHD Cardo logo on the road, show some appreciation to the driver – with a smile, a hello, a small gesture of recognition. To let him know that his work makes a difference.