Anisa, meanwhile, said she’s noticed a change in supermarket shoppers. “Before the pandemic, people would look at us as service assistants – we’re there to show them where the eggs are or if they want to complain about something.
But now they’re a lot more understanding,” she said. “My job was not something that was that big of a deal before. But now it’s like we’re important. We have to be here, regardless of what’s happening in the world. It’s more than just a job now.”
It’s important to sustain that level of appreciation, however, as the pandemic invariably continues. Rachel noted, “After the 8 p.m. clapping fades, I hope the NHS [National Health Service] won’t be forgotten.” She added, “To resume to ‘normal’ would be a step in the wrong direction.”
British Vogue is spotlighting a different kind of model in its latest issue. The magazine’s powerful July 2020 covers honor individuals supporting their communities during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. All residing in the greater London area, the three essential workers are Narguis Horsford, a train driver; Rachel Millar, a community midwife; and Anisa Omar, a supermarket worker.
“If you had told me at the beginning of the year that British Vogue’s July cover stars would feature a community midwife, a train driver and supermarket worker, I might not have believed you,” Editor in Chief Edward Enninful wrote on Instagram. “But, as our nation perseveres against Covid-19, we find ourselves leaning not on the powers that be, but on ordinary people and their extraordinary strength and kindness.”
In respective interviews, Narguis, Rachel, and Anisa spoke about the ways in which their work has been impacted by the coronavirus but also illuminated its importance. “I am no hero, but I’m proud of being a train driver and the essential role we are playing during the coronavirus crisis,” Narquis said. “Our services are vitally important to keep London moving throughout these unprecedented times.”
“It’s more than just a job now.”
Browse the striking covers ahead, and read the full feature in the July issue of British Vogue, available via digital download and on newsstands Friday, June 5.