If I’ve learned anything throughout this Coronavirus pandemic, it’s that fighting it, is a group effort. There are the obvious fighters like the first responders, healthcare workers, retail employees, truck drivers, and delivery people who are risking their lives to run the world right now. They don’t have the luxury of staying home, and we simply couldn’t do it without them. And then there are the non-visible, less heroic type of fighters, who are quietly and diligently following the rules of social distancing, and helping us all get to the finish line of this crazy situation sooner.
We often praise the front line essential workers for their amazing efforts (as we should continue to do), but we also need to give a shout out to the regular folks who are doing the challenging “work” of staying put. We need to recognize the amazing people who have put forth their best efforts to follow C.D.C. guidelines and not leave their homes unless it is absolutely necessary.
I’m talking about the single people who have endured weeks of solitude with little to no outside world interaction. Also, the folks who have gone a month without visiting their elderly grandparents. The moms who have repeatedly told their children that, no, they can not have a play date with friends. The parents at their breaking point who would love nothing more than to drop the kids off at Grandma’s house, but choose to stay home because it is the right thing to do. The families that choose Zoom meetings over an in person get together for their Easter celebration or little one’s first birthday party.
There are countless people who have been forced to give up vacations, graduations, weddings, proms and other momentous life occasions in an effort to keep all of us safe. They deserve our respect for their sacrifices. But, we also need to recognize those people who have been tempted by opportunities for a quick trip to browse Target or a “harmless evening” with fellow quarantined neighbors, and still managed to make the CHOICE to stay home and put other’s health and safety above their own wants- they are life savers too.
It is so easy to find ways to justify leaving our homes. We are all desperate for our old ways of life and can convince ourselves that our actions “aren’t that bad” or “won’t make a difference.” But, the best way to honor those essential workers who don’t have a choice about whether or not to stay home, is for us to choose to stay put. It’s not easy (doing the right thing rarely is) but is saving us all.
So, thank you to our selfless front line heroes, and thank you to the rule following stay-at-home life savers too. We will beat this thing together.