Stay home. Wash your hands. Stay home. Stay at least six feet away from others. Stay home. Don’t touch your face. Stay home. Only go out for groceries and other essentials. STAY HOME.
By now, we all know what we must do to avoid exposing ourselves and those we love to the novel coronavirus. We’ve been staying home for weeks now, trying to work while keeping our children working on their remote learning. We have canceled trips, graduations, weddings, and reunions. We are isolated from friends and family. We are suffering from cabin fever. We are afraid, but we’re staying home.
There are people who cannot stay home.
Essential workers are those who must leave their families to work on the front lines of this pandemic. They cannot self-isolate; they must show up so that we can continue to avoid contact to “flatten the curve.”
We know about, pray for, and thank the healthcare workers. The nurses and doctors and aids and EMTs and paramedics and all who are not only fighting a pandemic but are fighting without basic personal protective equipment. These people put their lives at risk, isolating themselves from their loved ones, so that they can take care of us in our hour of need. They care and comfort, cheering on those who recover and weeping for those who die without their families.
But what about the other essential workers?
We must remember, pray for, and thank all of them. The janitors who clean and sanitize. The grocery store and drug store employees who stock and check us out with a smile behind their homemade masks. The telecom workers who keep our access to the Internet up and running so that we can work and learn from home. The postal workers. The garbage collectors. The mortuary workers. The bank employees. The transportation workers. The factory workers. The first responders. The military here and abroad. The plumbers and electricians. The workers in homeless shelters. The farmers. The restaurant workers who make the food we carry home when we just can’t cook.
The list goes on and on and on.
These people don’t have the luxury of isolating. They don’t get to stay in their pajamas while telecommuting. They are dreadfully overworked and are shamefully underpaid. We owe them so much. A simple “thank you” seems inadequate. But it is what we have.
We at Madeworthy/Tanglewood Moms thank the essential workers. All of you. We recognize your strength, your bravery, and your work, and we pray for your continued safety.
We pray for courage when you are afraid, wisdom when you must make quick decisions, and strength when you are weary. We thank you for all you do.