Everyone makes sacrifices, not only to protect ourselves but to also protect others. However, essential workers put themselves at even higher risk daily. Thank you to all the essential workers who have displayed empathy and courage through their continuous work.
Our communities would lack essentials for shelter, food, and toiletries without the work of grocery and retail employees, truck drivers who transport goods, and the individuals who package the goods.
Thousands of people have put their lives on the line in hospitals where they are in direct contact with dire and contagious COVID-19 patients. It does not matter whether they are doctors, nurses, janitorial staff, or administrative; each hospital job is a necessity to help fight the pandemic and keep the curve from rising. We know that this has been extremely difficult for healthcare workers, as many voluntarily self-isolate for weeks from their immediate family to protect their loved ones.
A simple text, card, email, or phone call to acknowledge the work of our health-care worker friends can make a big difference in their lives. This can give them more incentive and momentum to keep their morale and during a busy time of work. Many hospitals have created online kudo boards so that community members can post pictures and inspirational morale boosters to share with the staff. I encourage you to visit these boards and have your kids upload their drawings.
Our educators are another group of specialized workers who work tirelessly during the pandemic: our teachers, paraprofessionals, support staff, and the administration for each local school district continue to be selfless leaders. Many teachers have had to make an abrupt shift to teaching online lessons. Based on my interaction with my daughter’s teachers, I know this has been a very difficult task for them to adapt to a strictly online forum. They have played a very important role in helping children continue to learn and by keeping them engaged during long stay-at-home hours. Some teachers have the added responsibility of having to teach our children during the day while simultaneously helping their own children with schoolwork.
I have noticed more and more of our “everyday” citizens showing daily acts of kindness by volunteering and helping neighbors. I have read numerous accounts of individuals assisting others during this pandemic, and have witnessed some myself. I have seen so many good-hearted people running errands, grocery shopping for the elderly, or delivering meals to the most vulnerable. During a crisis, it is reassuring to see that it brings out the best in our citizens, and people rise to be leaders in their local communities. I encourage you to visit CT Dart to look for ways you can volunteer in your local communities.
Ordinary people can achieve the extraordinary by helping their communities during this unusual time.
There are ways that each of us can thank and celebrate the work of our peers. In New York City, the mayor has promised a ticket-tape parade when the crisis comes to an end. While this may seem like something in the distant future, I hope to see them march down the Canyon of Heroes with the crowd chanting as loud as they did for Derek Jeter and Eli Manning! But until then, it’s going to be the little acts of kindness that show our appreciation.
Thank you can really go a long way, especially to our many essential workers that surround us. So please remember to say it the next time you see an essential worker.