Each morning after catching up with news about COVID-19, I pray for and reflect on the lives of my family members, friends, and neighbors near and far. Among the many people in my prayers and thoughts, of course, are those who, at great risk to themselves, continue working to help us — nurses, physicians, emergency medical technicians, pharmacists, nonclinical hospital personnel, and medical researchers. But my gratitude also includes many other people whose work is critical to each of us despite it being sometimes overlooked given the current focus on healthcare.

EVERYDAY HEROES CONTRIBUTE TO OUR WELL-BEING

In addition to our brave and dedicated healthcare workers, I am making a point of recognizing all people whose helping hands and courage are critical to us at this difficult time. They include people involved in law enforcement, supply chains, education, telecommunication, information technology, food and agriculture, services for the underserved, transportation, postal services, veterinary care, animal rescue, energy, water, waste management, construction, and public works.

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In buttressing our infrastructure, the workers we see and those we don’t see allow us to keep making progress with our lives wherever possible. But their presence is even more profound than that. For example, they help normalize our days and remind us of better times when trips to the grocery store, casual dinners out, and chance meetings with friends around town were something we took for granted.

ESSENTIAL WORKERS PROVIDE PRACTICAL AND EMOTIONAL STABILITY

In the current of COVID-19, friendly smiles from my postal carrier, sociable exchanges with supermarket cashiers, and glimpses of delivery personnel take on a deeper meaning. In addition to reminding us how much we depend on their consistent efforts, their presence gives us a much-needed, if momentary, sense of normalcy. It gives us hope that we will return to the lives we led before the virus disrupted our ordinary routines and left us with extraordinary challenges.

Essential services, however vital to our comfort and survival, are a gift.
No price is high enough to match their value
or the value of those who work to sustain them. 

ESSENTIAL WORKERS EVERYWHERE DESERVE OUR THANKS

Without each of the everyday heroes among us, we would likely be paralyzed. With them, we continue making the most of our lives despite the war COVID-19 is waging against us.

Whenever possible, please let essential workers know how much they mean to you. I am doing the same.