Frontline workers deserve more appreciation


Staff Editorial

We’ve heard it so many times: we’re all in this together.

And, in March and April, we were, for the most part. Seeing commercials and advertisements blasting our screens with togetherness, positive, upbeat sayings and appreciation for frontline workers — who are often underappreciated.

But, it’s nearly four months later, and the coronavirus pandemic is still going on — where did that compassion go?

This pandemic has taught us all that frontline workers are essential — even the ones that are mostly overlooked and underappreciated, like grocery store workers and garbage collectors. They’re putting their lives at risk to provide life-sustaining services to others. During a time of national crisis, these individuals stepped up to the challenge and provided services to keep our society going.

We’re over that now.

Social media videos of anti-maskers and COVID-19 deniers circulate the Internet, as they take out their frustrations and baseless conspiracies against people just trying to do their jobs. Disruption of businesses because state and federal requirements are inconvenient, and shaming of those trying to follow the rules are, unfortunately, things we’ve seen this summer.

News flash: The coronavirus pandemic has made things inconvenient for everyone — and frontline workers know this best.

So quickly, our society went from cheesy commercials honoring these workers to a blatant disregard for the work they’ve done, and continue to do. It’s almost like it was a “photo-op” to state your appreciation for them.

Nurses and doctors have seen first hand the impact that COVID-19 has on people in their communities. Grocery and essential retail workers have worked tirelessly to ensure products are on shelves, stocking items all day. Public transit drivers are doing the best they can to safely provide transportation, and janitors working overtime to guarantee extra-clean spaces are more examples of the work these people do.

But yeah, a social media post with “proof” that COVID-19 is a hoax definitely gives you an excuse to treat these workers like garbage.

It’s embarrassing, quite frankly. And it needs to change.

Maybe it’s a simple “thank you” to the mail carrier dropping a delivery off at your house. Or, maybe it’s showing compassion and understanding to the health care professionals who have, first-hand, seen this virus every single day. Or, it’s being respectful to the cashier at Sheetz. It’s up to you to decide what that looks like.

Once the pandemic eventually ends, it is certain that no one will want to go back and relive COVID-19. Let’s leave our subpar treatment of frontline workers in the past, too.