As the coronavirus continues to spread through our country, I want to express my deepest gratitude to all the people who will likely still need to work even when everyone else goes on lockdown:

  • Doctors, Nurses and Paramedics, all of whom have been, are currently, and will continue to be on the front lines treating those hit hardest and risking exposure to the virus themselves. They will be the ones dealing with the worst of what this brings us. I pray that they do not have to experience the kind of overwhelming tidal wave of patients that medical professionals in Italy and Iran are currently dealing with, but our country’s belated response indicates that our medical workers may be in for an extremely rough time.
  • Pharmacy Workers, who will still need to provide medications, not just to those with the virus, but to people with all other conditions that occur every day – including chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, HIV, and mental illness.
  • 911 Operators, who will still need to process and route our emergency calls.
  • Firefighters, who will still have to put out fires, help people having heart attacks and other medical crises, and will likely be called out to help some of the 20% of people who experience severe symptoms from the virus.
  • Police, who will still be called to address criminal activity, domestic disputes, and other situations that will continue to some degree regardless of what else is going on in our country.
  • Grocery Store Employees, who will still need to provide vital food and other goods to the public.
  • Truckers, who will still need to transport food, gasoline, medical supplies, and other goods across the country.
  • Dock Workers, who will still need to receive food, medical supplies, and other goods at our ports.
  • Gas Station Workers, who will still need to provide gasoline.
  • Trash Collectors, who will still need to collect our garbage, which never ends.
  • Utility Workers, who will still need to ensure continued electricity, natural gas, water, and phone service.
  • Postal Workers, who will still need to facilitate communications and the delivery of life essentials like Social Security checks.

These people, and many whom I’ve probably left out, are my heroes during this time, because while their contributions are often simply assumed to always be there, it is because of them always being there that they will be the people most vital to keeping our country running.

I am also grateful for the Americans who are voluntarily taking steps now to lessen the coming impact of the virus on our country:

  • People who are following the CDC guidelines to limit spread of the virus: their efforts now will reduce the stress on our medical system in the coming weeks.
  • People who are taking the time to seek out credible sources to learn about the virus and how it is spread.
  • Employers who provide paid sick leave so that their workers don’t feel pressure to come to work sick.
  • Employers who acknowledge the reality that people can have this virus with no symptoms for well over a week and still be contagious, and employers who are therefore allowing their employees to work from home when possible to reduce transmission.
  • Employees who stay home from work when they are sick, thereby keeping their coworkers from getting whatever they have
  • Landlords who are willing to be flexible with tenants who may miss one or more paychecks and therefore may not be able to pay their rent: these landlords’ compassion will reduce the degree to which homelessness ends up a side impact of this virus.
  • Bankers who are willing to be flexible with mortgage payments, and who can therefore have a similarly positive impact on our country.
  • School districts that are closing down and finding alternative ways to continue teaching kids at home.
  • Teachers who stay home when they are sick, and whose jobs may currently require them to be around sick kids all day.
  • Parents who keep their kids home when they are sick.

These people also deserve recognition for helping keep this virus as manageable as possible. Thank you.

– rob rünt

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