By Tracey Walshaw, Gateway Gazette
The term frontline worker is “used to describe an employee who deals directly with customers” (Cambridge English Dictionary). These people are hailed as heroes during this pandemic. This includes healthcare workers, police, firefighters, border service officers, store cashiers, bank tellers, staff at take-out windows, staff working in shelters (homeless/women’s emergency).
But in the “backend” there are cleaners who may or may not have close contact with people but most definitely will have direct contact with the germs/bacteria/virus’ depending on where they are required to work. What about those people working in our labs trying to find a vaccine to slow down COVID-19? Yes, these are heroes also!
Other people working behind the scenes that may not have direct contact with people and can continue their very important jobs while “physical/social distancing” are truck drivers, kitchen staff, warehouse workers, oilfield workers and manufacturers. There are many more that just don’t come to mind at the moment…..thus the term ”unsung heroes”.
Working from home or at a distance from their co-workers are teachers, mental health professionals and journalists; I’m sure there are many more that are working to keep us informed and trying to help us maintain some new sense of normal. Aren’t we lucky to live in the digital age, when we can keep in touch and up-to-date in a safe manner?!
Our politicians are working hard to keep us informed and find ways to help ease the financial burdens we are struggling with; our municipalities, provinces and the country are also suffering and will feel this far after we come through this. Politicians aren’t always popular and it’s not an easy job but by working together, and with our support, they can lead us through this. Hard decisions need to be made. This is not the time for mud-slinging and criticism!
There are the downfalls of course to this digital age: scams, conspiracy theorists, angry people on social media. Sometimes we need to take a step back from that social media group and go for a walk outside. Breathe fresh air and spend time with your pet (if you are lucky enough to have one in your life) or immediate family.
I know if looks like there is no end in sight but we can get through this by supporting one another rather than fighting. Before you say something or post something online, please take a moment to think about how that will be received; will it hurt someone? Maybe it just doesn’t need to be said; maybe you can find something uplifting to say instead?
Pray for those that have lost someone to this virus. We are ALL being affected in some way by these trying times; some more than others. Be compassionate. We can get through this but we have to do it together!
Stay at home and stay safe!