First to the unsung heroes…
To the housekeeping staff at the hospital. (Oh yeah! You people who work under, around, and behind the doctors and nurses who save lives, meanwhile you provide a clean environment for them to do their life-saving work, all while putting your lives in jeopardy too.) You underpaid, overworked, usually ignored, nameless, almost faceless individuals who for bottom dollar show up to clean up after the doctors and nurses have treated gunshot victims, heart attack victims, and now especially victims of coronavirus – the condition that finally scares America (and the whole world) so bad that almost all cultural and economic activity has ground to a sudden stop like only an act of God can do.
To the garbage haulers who pick up all my trash, trash laden with all manner of refuse (suspicious or not), and continue to do so whether we appropriately bag it up, tie a knot in the bag, or not.
To the grocery stockers, baggers, and checkers who risk their lives in what used to be simple customer service, but now is a life line. To the pizza delivery, UPS, and USPS drivers that deliver needed (and sometimes wanted) items right to my door so I don’t have to leave the house and risk my health.
To the long haul truck drivers and warehouse workers and everyone else, who behind the scenes, leave their families daily, weekly, and monthly to play their roles in the larger logistics of moving the food and other essentials so that my family suffers no want during quarantine.
To foodbank workers, the volunteers, the homeless ministers, and paper delivery drivers who serve those who cannot help themselves as the rest of us quarantine.
To all those people who, despite intense cabin fever … despite frustration with their spouse and kids and live-in in-laws… manage to adhere to STAY AT HOME orders.
To any I have not mentioned! (Yeah. You too.)
Then to the TRUE heroes…
To those “front line” workers who rightly do get truck loads of appreciation from applauding balconies, front doors, back doors, and high-rise windows, I add my voice of thanx! The doctors and nurses and respiratory therapists, the EMTs, the fire fighters, police, and other first responders. To the jailers! Some of these professionals always knew they were putting their lives at risk to do their jobs, but none ever expected THIS. God bless you! And may we all support you in every way possible as you sacrifice so deeply to take care of the rest of us.
To the scientists working around the clock to study and beat this virus! Thanx!
To the teachers at school who help my kids transition their education to the internet, and who reach deep into their creative reserves to love my kids and teach them.
To the small business owners who adapt and improvise and especially to those who actually SHUT DOWN in utter sacrifice for the greater good! Your sacrifice may not be as apparent NOW as it will be in the next few months and years, but for YOU, right now, it is extremely emotional to work so hard at your goals only to throw in the towel. To let workers go… to watch your own income grind to a sudden stop with no back up plan!
Thank YOU to all of my neighbors who STAY AT HOME as much as possible, who wash their hands and take all manner of care and precautions. THANK YOU for making wise decisions about YOUR personal life which have a huge impact on mine even if we never meet.
To the self-interested.
To the politicians who put party and ideology above care for neighbors. Now is not the time to advance yourself or your party. JUST LEAD! BE A LEADER, and no matter your politics, you will be remembered well. Be a jerk, and you will be remembered. Mistakes and regrets will happen to all leaders, but those made for political gain are unacceptable. No Thanx!
To the hospital administrators who spent the last four years NOT learning the lessons of Ebola, who failed to stock up supplies and prepare for epidemic and pandemic WHICH WAS PREDICTED, but instead “saved money” that earned nice year-end bonuses, AND WHO NOW all of a sudden work from home while sending doctors and nurses into the fray utilizing previously used, disposable PPE, or improvised PPE, due to your selfish preparations. No Thanx!
To all my neighbors suffering the itch to “get out” or to go to a beach to enjoy spring break, to the idiots “hooking up” with on-line acquaintances, who flout the world-wide emergency for your own childish and selfish interests, and thus put the rest of us at great risk. No Thanx!
To you people, I plead, repent! Put others above your own interests. We are more connected and interdependent than we ever knew. If you will start to practice care for others now, it will have an impact on your own well being too.
I am sorry I did not listen to those who predicted this pandemic AND the economic repercussions. We were warned! We really were. And I failed to listen to some of them, I didn’t even know about some of them, and despite the fact that some prophets of disaster are wrong, are idiots, are opportunists, I nonetheless am sorry I did not listen to those who actually had real insight and credibility (not the least Bill Gates).
(Now to my readers: Who did I miss? Please add to the list in the comments. And thanx to you for reading and caring.)