Commentary: Let's show appreciation for all our front line workers

It’s hard to believe that we have entered the sixth full month of Covid-19 paralyzing our city and our lives. I have previously written here about the solutions we all need to deliver in order to maintain our civility and society during these incredibly difficult times. I have called for support of our police as they dedicated themselves to our safety amidst a global pandemic. I have asked for support of Black Lives Matter. And I have asked for support of our city budget, one that considered the transformational effects the virus has had on our economy and funds services that help all of our residents with affordable housing, schools, and public health initiatives.

As we have all struggled and tried to maintain peace of mind at home and in society, we cannot forget the thousands of people who have weathered the hardships and health risks and done their jobs day after day, without the benefit of staying home or being able to call into meetings in pajamas via Zoom.

Our front line workers in Boston are moving into their sixth month of what must seem like a never-ending journey. These heroes are keeping the people of Boston fed. They are picking up garbage and working road projects in extreme heat while wearing masks. They are working around the clock at our local hospitals to deliver life-saving medicine to a stream of patients that does not seem to end. They do this while often making low wages and receiving no benefits. They are the people who keep us going while the rest of us are stuck at home.

We need to take a minute and understand how long six months actually is, particularly as these men and women bravely face the unknown of Covid’s effect on them and their families if they contract the virus during the course of their selfless duties. Six months of caring for our elderly at assisted living facilities and working around the clock to keep them safe. Six months of making sure the toilet paper, hand sanitizer, milk, diapers, and bread is on the shelves. Six months of making sure we get our mail.

Here is what we all need to get behind. We need to appreciate and thank these citizens for putting this great city above themselves. They are selfless. And in my opinion, they have gone under-appreciated. After five months in daily crisis, I think it is possible our appreciation of these people and their efforts is waning.

Just as we cannot let our guard down with the virus, we have to remember that these heroes have kept going, too. Their mission-essential duties do not For the readers here who are wondering what they can do, it is simple. Say thank you to these men and women for what they are doing every day. Beyond that, you can really help by continuing to respect this virus. The long haul is not over. Not by a long shot. And what we owe the front line workers is our adherence to the rules. Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Stay home when you can. And please be kind to each other.  That way we can all get through this the way Bostonians always do – together.

Frank Baker represents District 3 in the Boston City Council.

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