GUEST COLUMN: Thank you front-line workers
By Sarah Clavin, Miller Swim School
On a recent trip to inspect my daughters’ bedroom, I noticed a rogue piece of paper hanging from her door. I turned it over to find a sign they had made which read, “Hereos Work Here.” The spelling may have been incorrect but the gesture behind it was spot on. I thought I might finish what my 7 and 5-year-old girls had begun, a gesture of gratitude to the unsung Heroes of 2020.
To the healthcare workers, and teachers, and government staff, thank you. Your work on the front lines is unparalleled in the midst of a global crisis, chasing a moving target seems nearly impossible. You have and continue to lead us to the best of your ability.
To all the others, unnamed, unaccredited, and unknown, thank you. You anonymously held us together through the pandemic and I would like to specifically address a few of you by name.
To the School Administration; while teachers fought on the front lines, you were waging war behind the scenes. Scrambling to provide your staff with the resources necessary to continue educating our children, while attempting to prepare a plan for the future. You were inundated with emails and calls from frantic parents, you have created and changed policy, brainstormed and implemented strategies for multiple possible outcomes, and you have sifted through restrictions and regulations in order to continue educating the next generation in the safest way possible. Thank you.
To the Small and Local Business Owners; after an abrupt closure of your doors, you were battling an enemy blindly. Creativity and innovation became a necessity, and through many sleepless nights you fought to survive.
You worried endlessly about your employees, their families, their healthcare, and their homes. You gave up much of yourselves as owners to provide for those around you, praying your local cities would rise up and continue to offer their support so you could meagerly sustain the business you had once dreamed of having.
We are grateful for your persistence, your innovation, your selflessness, and your drive. Thank you.
To our friends and to the families who found themselves at home due to a loss of a job or a furlough from a business deemed non-essential.
You found yourself in a completely different role overnight. From provider and bread winner to distance learning teacher and health care worker. You stood strong for your children during uncertainty; you scoured the internet for inventive ways to teach your children and resources to keep your family safe.
You walked the streets and met your neighbors and grew closer as a community. Zoom became a way to reach out rather than a way to drive down the street. For your resilience, fortitude and respite during this time, Thank you.
To the Nannies and Caretakers who continued to provide service for their families who were deemed essential workers; thank you. You continued to care for your families and their children despite the possible risks it meant to you.
You were selfless and giving and hopeful as you provided a sense of normalcy to those in your care. You gave their parents peace of mind knowing their children were well loved in your care. You also took on a new role of teacher, helping facilitate distance learning, and continued to find activities to do despite the closure of libraries, parks, and learning centers. For your commitment, creativity, and devotion, thank you.
To the patrons and customers of small and local businesses, thank you.
You waited patiently for your friends and neighbors to navigate the uncharted waters and reopen their community-based business.
You ordered take out from a limited menu and voiced your support by choosing to spend your dining dollars at a neighborhood diner or grocer to keep your community alive.
For your patience, flexibility, and financial support, thank you.
There are many more unsung heroes who are not mentioned above. It is easy to recognize the heroes that we see, but finding the heroes that work in the shadows and behind the scenes is more difficult. I think of the stock clerk and the cashier at your grocery and convenience store. I think of the delivery truck driver and the warehouse worker. We think of the nurses and doctors, what about the lab technicians and receptionist. And most of all I think and I wonder who is the person that is cleaning and disinfecting behind the scenes.
Most of these will go unnoticed. But today we stop and remember that it is not those who entertain us that kept our communities moving, but rather those we will never meet that we value the most. We would not be where we are today without the work you have done. And we are so very grateful.