STAFF EDITORIAL: A ‘Thank You’ to Essential Workers

Adrian Nevarez | The Phoenix

We have some people to thank.

And by “we,” we’re not talking about The Phoenix Editorial Board. We’re talking about the Loyola student body.

Since we happen to have a page of print space dedicated to saying whatever we deem worthy of saying, this week it’s simply “thank you.”

The coronavirus pandemic is gaining strength and shutting the doors of businesses and residences across the country. In Illinois, more than 1,200 cases have been confirmed and 16 people have died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. A Loyola student is one of the confirmed cases. A large number of people are staying inside their homes in an effort to socially distance themselves. Life as we know it has changed.

But as many people have been battling boredom and laziness during the time of self-quarantine and social distancing, there’s another population of people going to work, bending over backward to make sure our lives aren’t upended by this virus for too long. Their work isn’t going unnoticed, and it’s worth a lot more than a page in a student newspaper. But it’s a good start.

So thank you to the doctors, nurses and lab technicians keeping our hospitals running and facing the disease head-on.

Thank you to the restaurateurs and delivery drivers bringing meals to our doorstep in the safest way possible.

Thank you to the staff of nursing homes for protecting the populations most vulnerable to COVID-19.

Thank you to the employees at stores like Target and 7-Eleven, who work in mostly empty stores to make sure we can pick up the things we need in a pinch.

Thank you to the gas station attendants who make it possible for us to gas up our cars, should we need to get anywhere.

Thank you to the parents who are experiencing a whole new type of parenting while also adjusting to work from home themselves.

Thank you to the public school employees who are making it possible for children to be fed even when they’re not in school.

Thank you to the janitors who are working harder than ever to keep our spaces clean.

Thank you to the roommates navigating online classes with less-than-ideal internet speeds and indulging in board game nights and arts and crafts.

Thank you to the journalists who are working overtime, dropping paywalls and facing strange conditions to relay important information to the public.

Thank you to the teachers and professors who are changing their entire plans for the rest of the semester in order to keep children educated.

Thank you to the musicians holding impromptu concerts online to keep us entertained.

Thank you to the truckers who are driving miles and miles to get us the things we need when we need them.

Thank you to the factory workers and laborers making essential products we use every day.

Thank you to the counselors and therapists who are switching platforms, making phone calls and setting up online sessions to keep their clients as mentally healthy as possible.

And if you’re staying home, thank you, too.

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