The frontline

Why we should support our service workers


Creative Commons

LIFE IN QUARANTINE. Over the past weeks, society has greatly transformed. While the majority of people are staying at home protecting themselves from the virus, there are still people who are sacrificing their lives each and every day to provide for their communities. Whether it be health care providers, grocery store workers, delivery workers, restaurant workers, etc. there are incredible people who are doing all they can to look out for us, many at the expense of their own lives.

   Health care providers. Those who are doctors. Those who are nurses. Those who are physician assistants. Those who answer our 911 calls. Those who check in patients into hospitals. It goes without saying that the world around us is coming together to commemorate and honor those in the medical field who are continuously risking their lives every day to keep strangers around them alive, fighting for their lives at the expense of their own. They are heroes: people who we will never forget, people who will always be seen as saviors, people who we will thank each and every day both during these times and after.

   However, we can’t ignore all the other people who are risking their lives for the rest of the community. Grocery store employees wake up every day in order to serve the community through their service. Whether or not they are voluntarily there, whether or not they are only showing up to work because they need the paycheck, these workers are facing masses of people each day and sacrificing themselves to ensure that those around them are able to pay for their food. They are the front line.

   And just like healthcare providers are dying as a result of the virus and a lack of protective materials, so are grocery workers. According to the Boston Globe, “At least four… grocery store employees have died around the country… two at the same Chicago-area Walmart, one at a Trader Joe’s in Scarsdale, N.Y., and one at a Giant store in Largo, Md.”

   And sadly, that number is only the beginning because according to the  Washington Post, “dozens of grocery workers have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent weeks.”

   Thankfully, large companies such as Kroger and Walmart are now starting to take more proactive measures such as checking employees temperatures at the beginning of their shifts and also providing them with gloves and masks, some are even requiring customers to stand six feet apart in line (Washington Post ). 

   While we sit at home and practice isolating ourselves from others in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, these men and women are instead facing the masses, leaving themselves readily predisposed to customers who may have the virus themselves. It is important to keep both yourself and others healthy during these hard times. If you are feeling any symptoms, even if you are not diagnosed, or if you have been in contact with someone who has the virus, think again before going to the grocery store and potentially risking the lives of those men and women who wake up each and every day to serve our communities and keep us healthy. 

   And to emphasize, grocery workers and health care providers are not the only people risking their lives every day for us. Think of your delivery workers, those who are working at restaurants to provide different means of food, those small business owners who have to go to work to provide for their family, your Uber eats or Instacart employees, those who work as janitors at hospitals, and all other essential workers. These people deserve our recognition and our praise each and every day.