Giving thanks to today’s work heroes | Pat Perry

It’s been quite a year thus far and the next few months may present some of the more unusual holidays most of us have ever experienced.

What we knew and enjoyed a year ago has changed dramatically in a short 12 months. Adversity reigns supreme and has heightened frustration, anxiety and affected so many individuals’ happiness.

Yet, there are bright spots that continue to instill a sense of hope. These bright spots are the people who have persevered, day after day, working through some really tough times and unimaginable circumstances.

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They have demonstrated courage, empathy and hard work to help the rest of us manage these crazy times in 2020. So, a big Thank You to:

• COVID caregivers — Unless we could live a moment in their lives, we can never fully appreciate what the nurses, technicians and physicians have done and continue to do at hospitals and healthcare facilities.

If you are tired of wearing a mask, imagine what they have to wear all day long while putting their health and lives at risk. If there was a Most Valuable People award, this group would win hands down.

If you are a healthcare worker that takes care of those with COVID-19, thank you so much for what you do, the sacrifices you have made and the lives you have saved! You are truly remarkable and a real hero.

• Healthcare workers — About five months ago I went to my dentist for a routine cleaning. The hygienist was practically in a hazmat suit. I think that is when it first hit me, the many precautions healthcare workers need to take in order to treat patients safely while caring for their own personal health.

A special shout out to all those in healthcare. Whether you draw blood, greet patients, conduct open heart surgery or care for those at assisting living/nursing homes, your efforts are incredibly appreciated.

• First-responders and Armed Forces — First-responders are there when we need them and put their lives on the line. For those who serve in the military, your courage and patriotism are unmatched.

To the women and men that serve and protect all of us, please know that you are never taken for granted and what you do every day is extraordinary.

• Educators and administrators — What a year for those in education! What was once a pretty straightforward approach to educating students has turned into a balancing act, requiring innovation highly reliant on technology.

I am sure this holiday there may be a collective sigh of temporary relief for educators, as students go on a bit of an extended break. No one knows for sure what spring semester might look like, but the professionals at every grade level have proved to be up for the challenge.

• Human resources professionals –– Those working in HR may be some of the most underrated professionals in business. From legal compliance to employee relations, HR handles a multitude of responsibilities that materially affect the success of any organization.

Throw in a world-wide pandemic and you have a whole new ballgame on how to attract and retain a quality workforce. Safety protocols have moved into being top priority for many in HR, as the breadth and depth of guidelines have evolved over the past eight months.

Hats off to the HR professionals who wear so many hats within an organization!

• Grocery workers — From day one of the pandemic, those who work in the grocery industry have put their health on the line so all of us can eat.

From stocking shelves, to addressing shoppers’ concerns regarding TP shortages to checking us out at the cashier line, these individuals deserve special recognition for being a critical and caring link to our food supply.

• Postal workers and couriers — Our reliance on delivery to our doorsteps significantly increased due to the virus. Those who deliver mail and packages have not missed a beat even though the volume of what you deliver has increased dramatically.

Also, thank you in advance for the work we anticipate you will be asked to do during a very busy holiday season.

• Production workers — Those who work in manufacturing and/or distribution centers have been called upon to be at the workplace and keep up production, socially distanced, masked and adhering to stringent safety protocols. You did not have easy jobs prior to the pandemic, and they are even tougher now.

Thanks for your hard work and making such an important impact on our local economy.

•  Non-profit caregivers — The increased demand for services at area non-profits, due to the virus, has been unreal. From foodbanks to shelters, non-profit organizations have somehow found a way to address the demands with less funding and resources.

Truly remarkable!

The list goes on and on and on. This has been a rough patch for a lot of people, and that may be an understatement. Yet, people persevere, and try to figure new and better ways to work and play.

We may not have figured it all out yet, and all the solutions may not have been perfect. But this pandemic will end at some point and we will arrive at a “new normal.”

There will be a time we will look back, share remarkable stories of heroism about people in ordinary jobs, who ended up doing extraordinary things.

These acts of heroism and remarkable stories are happening today, right in front of us. So, there is no better time to give thanks to all of you for what you have done and what you do for everyone else.

Happy Thanksgiving.


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