It’s difficult to describe what we are all experiencing as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Every aspect of our daily lives (work, home, and social) has been impacted. We hope that you’re keeping updated as the situation unfolds and as communities continue sheltering in place to protect themselves and their loved ones.
Many businesses are closed, and people who rely on shops and services are faced with difficult challenges. Some people are working from home. Others have been laid off or furloughed and are scrambling to anticipate what’s next in their lives. The most vulnerable among us, particularly those who live outdoors, have few options.
But there’s another side to the uncertainty: we all share common basic needs. Without the hard work and dedication of our fellow citizens who are providing essential services, many of us would be unprepared for the prolonged shelter in place or quarantine that has been ordered by state and local governments.
Depending on Others in Times of Uncertainty
Thousands of people are still working. Many are putting in longer hours and earlier morning shifts to meet the demands of people who need services.
Gas station workers are ensuring vehicles have fuel, so deliveries can be made and shelves restocked. Truck drivers are working overtime to make sure supplies for stores and hospitals are delivered and replenished.
Supermarket staffers are keeping people separated inside and outside stores, passing out hand sanitizer, restocking products, and cleaning checkout stands between shoppers. Restaurant workers have transitioned from serving to cooking for online delivery app partners and curbside pickup.
Postal, courier, and online shopping workers are delivering packages that contain essential goods and medicines to assisted living facilities and elder care homes, along with delivery of home essentials, groceries, and important documents for people awaiting unemployment benefits.
In addition to daily emergencies and regular patient visits, our healthcare workers – including nurses, physicians, assistants, and hospital staffers – are risking their lives as they care for people who have contracted the virus. Furthermore, healthcare professionals are working 13 to 20 hour shifts, overwhelmed with the number of cases they’re seeing and distressed from not having enough vital equipment and supplies – not to mention battling exhaustion and sleep deprivation. They are going above and beyond with risks not only to themselves but the families they go home to.
As NYC struggles to keep up with coronavirus, dozens of health care workers from Atlanta boarded a plane to answer the call for help. The flight crew, health workers and others held up their hands in a heart shape for a photo that’s getting all the love. https://t.co/ZuqN4QuRbT— CNN (@CNN) March 31, 2020
Contractors and subcontractors continue working on construction and maintenance projects, including sewer, water, gas, and power utilities. Without hygiene and sanitary services to help contain the virus, communities would be at even greater risk of transmission.
Teachers are learning to conduct online courses for thousands of students who are home from school and whose parents are at work. Online tutors are in high demand, and delivery of school supplies to student homes is the new reality. With each delivery, there is risk of exposure.
Let us also remember first responders: firefighters, EMTs, police officers, and members of the military who have been called upon to staff quarantined areas and transport patients to hospitals around the clock – as well as make arrangements and file reports for those who have succumbed to the disease.
What We Can Do to Show Our Thanks and Support
For those on the frontlines, quarantine is not an option. We need critical service providers. The pandemic would be even more devastating without their help. We believe it is paramount to show our appreciation for workers making sacrifices for our wellbeing and safety.
People around the world are showing their gratitude in a myriad of ways, including applause from windows and balconies and cheering outside hospitals.
Videos of hardworking healthcare professionals as well as victims of the virus have flooded social media. Even small fashion houses are working overtime to produce masks and other couture PPE (personal protective equipment).
If you would like to join in and help, there are ways you can contribute without leaving your home:
- Tell your representative in Congress to provide more protective equipment for nurses now
- Donate (unopened, sterile) medical supplies to your local health system foundation
- Donate to one of the many charities working to help essential workers
- Encourage your friends on social media to join you in donating
- Stay home: this is the most important thing you can do right now to help prevent transmission
- Know when to go to the emergency room; call your doctor or nurse first if you’re not sure if you need to see an emergency physician
- Make a monetary donation to your local hospital; visit their website for details
- Choose a crowd sourcing campaign to support
- Send messages of support to your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram who are essential workers
Each of these gestures demonstrates the spirit of cooperation and humanity as well as our hopes for a better tomorrow. In keeping with that spirit, Pipe Spy wants essential workers to know how much we appreciate their efforts and that we understand what they’re going through.
A simple “thank you” seems insufficient, but we’re in this together. We will also be doing our part to deliver services to those who need us – shoulder-to-shoulder with others on the frontlines.
To all of the folks performing essential duties out there, we THANK YOU!!!