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  • Writer's pictureKhalfani King

The Forgotten "Essential Workers"

A society is only as strong as the men and women that continue to provide for the public in chaos. Through this pandemic; these men and women are called “essential workers”

Doctors, nurses, and emergency services are at the forefront of this crisis but we also have to open up the conversation to restaurants, truck drivers, grocery store clerks, pharmacists and employees of big box stores like Walmart and Target.

It would be easy for me make this a post applauding these men and women for putting their health at risk to take care of people that were once considered the bread winners of society but are now furloughed, unemployed and unable to leave their homes.

The irony of a society bathing in arrogance; to say these men and women don’t deserve living wages or hazard pay during this crisis but has to depend on them for survival does not escape me. It saddens me.

When folks say I can’t wait for things to go back to “normal” forgetting that a few short months ago the men and women they are currently depending on to stock shelves to receive their basic necessities were overlooked in the conversation about wages that matched the cost of living while CEO’s of their companies absorbed billions… It makes me ill.

Instead of pacing back and forth waiting for things to reopen let’s take this time to reassess the way we are living our lives.

There were folks struggling before this pandemic and there will be a lot more struggling when there is a vaccine and we can return to our lives. Are we going to forget who helped carry us through this crisis? Are we going to go back to saying the men and women that kept us fed through this pandemic don’t deserve wages to match the cost of rent, food and other necessities?

We also need to start thinking about the men and women we celebrate in society. Does the amount of money in your bank account mean you are a more valuable asset in society?

The big houses and cars aren’t helping society survive this pandemic. What’s really important?

We need to respect the men and women that are helping to keep us alive and not push them to back of the line. There may come a time when workers faced with COVID-19 on a daily basis are not able to provide the services we need to make it through this crisis. Food won’t be on the shelves, medicine won’t be able to get picked up and delivery will be a thing of the past.

What will we do as a society when this happens?

The answer is simple…

Back to the Basics but the majority of society isn’t ready for that conversation.

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