We always thought that if shit really hit the fan, these would be the people who would keep civilization going.
And they have.
As Mr. Rogers famously advised people to do in the face of “scary news”— “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” He was right.
From the very start of this whole nightmare, our firefighters, law enforcement, EMTs, paramedics, nurses, doctors, and other frontline workers have put their lives on the line to protect ours.
I’m not taking anything away from anyone else, it’s been absolutely awful for everyone.
Physically, mentally, and emotionally draining.
But many of these frontline workers already had dangerous jobs, or even jobs where they specifically needed to worry about infection.
The long-term psychological effects of this whole thing on the nation have yet to be seen, but words like “extreme long-term stress” can’t summarize what these folks have been through (and many are still going through. Every. Day.)
All first responders need to be great at staying calm under pressure—hell, it’s part of their job on the daily—but even in the medical field, few were probably thinking “global plague” when they saw the word “pressure” in the job description.
It’s hard to say anything about it without ending up in cliché territory. The insanely huge struggles that these frontline workers have all had to deal with during all of this should be an inspiration for all of us to keep moving forward. It’s true, though I wouldn’t blame any of these people for hearing words like these as hollow praise at this point.
It’s something we should have already been doing before Covid, but if there’s ever been a time for every American to recognize what a crucial, difficult job these men and women handle for us, it’s during this crisis.
Even when most of the country was being told to stay at home, firefighters, police, and medical personnel had to go out and face the pandemic head on. Often overstretched, and with vastly insufficient PPE/safety equipment and no hazard pay—things that no amount of free coffee days, cardboard “thank you heroes” signs, or articles could possibly make up for.
But as we all look forward to this whole disaster being over, we raise our mugs to you—thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for serving our communities through all of this.
I feel confident saying we’ll never forget what “this” was, and we definitely won’t forget what you did for us during it.
In Part 2, we’ll look specifically at how blue collar workers have helped to keep our country going.