Great adversity tends to inspire great fear. It also prompts some to great resolve. So, while many may cower, a few brave souls inevitably rise to meet the occasion and emerge as heroes, celebrated and long remembered for their selflessness and courage.
The global COVID-19 pandemic stands alongside devastating events like wars, hurricanes, earthquakes, and the final season of Game of Thrones in bringing about epic adversity, yet it has also ushered in a new age of heroes, the likes of which we have never seen before. Even though they were right in front of us.
They are known as “essential workers.”
I’m not, of course, speaking of the doctors and nurses on the front lines of the global pandemic, working tirelessly and at great risk to themselves and their families. While they have shown incredible bravery and heroism throughout the crisis, they were pretty “essential” before the pandemic. They’ve pretty much always been essential and will remain so until you’re able to remove your own damned ruptured appendix.
No, I’m talking about the REAL essential workers. The checkout clerks and bagboys, the delivery drivers and trash collectors, the farm and factory workers, the guys behind the counter at the liquor stores and the pimple-faced fry cooks behind the lines at fast-food restaurants. These are the faces of America’s newest heroes.
THE MEANING OF ESSENTIAL
Throughout this crisis, these brave, selfless individuals have taught us all the true meaning of the word “essential.” And no, it’s not what the companies that sell fragrant oils think it is. It means: “absolutely necessary, extremely important.” Does that sound like some lavender oil that you drip into a diffuser to promote a feeling of warmth and serenity? Hell no.
As our nation started shutting everything down we quickly realized that we couldn’t keep everyone home. Some workers were absolutely ESSENTIAL to our survival. Who would put groceries on the shelves? Who would pick up our garbage? Who would deliver our Amazon orders? Who would sell us a fifth of gin?
All across the country, heroes stepped up and said: “I will.”
And in doing so, they showed us all…
THE TRUE FACE OF COURAGE
Certainly, some might say that they were only allowed to just keep doing their jobs, but isn’t that what courage is all about? Dragging your ass out of a nice, comfy bed to go to work for a bunch of people who don’t care about you?
If any should doubt the courage of these brave souls, one need look no further than their bottom line. It’s one thing to brave the threat of an invisible killer mutant disease for pay, but quite another to do so for minimum wage.
What great irony that the VAST majority of America’s essential workers are among those who receive the least amount of compensation. Many of them could not legally be paid less.
INVISIBLE, NOT INVINCIBLE
Most of the workers deemed to be “essential” during the COVID-19 shutdown are probably jobs that you would scarcely notice until you noticed the scarcity of people working in public. You put your trash out and expect it to be picked up. You open your mailbox and expect it to be filled with junk mail and bills. Chances are, you’ve never thought too much about the people who perform those tasks.
However, once you realized that you couldn’t get your hair cut, or go to a movie theater, or tell the annoying nerd at Best Buy that you were “just looking,” you probably started gaining some more respect for the 14-year old stuffing your tomatoes into a plastic bag at the grocery checkout. Maybe you even went out of your way to thank the guy at the liquor store, and not just because he carded you and made you blush.
After all, these heroes all had to get up out of that comfy bed and come punch the timeclock to serve you, despite the very real possibility that you were lousy with filthy and vile killer germs. They smiled behind their masks and thanked you anyways.
THAT’S heroism. And we all owe them a debt of gratitude.
Maybe even a gift. Lavender oil is nice. I understand that it infuses the room with a sense of warmth and serenity.
Okay, yes. Things have changed and then changed some more and before you know it we will all have gills and polka dots or something. It’s hard to keep up, but that’s why DAMN GOOD is here to save the day like the essential heroes we creatives are (you know it’s true). Give us a call and let us walk you through the Next New Normal.
During the COVID-19 health crisis DAMN GOOD is doing its part to help support area businesses by offering free, no-commitment telephone consultations. Whether you use our services or not, we want to help your business survive and even THRIVE during this challenging time. No bloodletting required. Call us today at 561.266.0127