On the pandemic’s front lines and away from the spotlight are some of America’s hardest-working, most affected professionals. COVID-19 testers are putting them- selves directly into the path of the pandemic by helping identify positive and negative cases of the virus. They’re also helping gain impactful data needed by researchers and policymakers to stem the outbreak.
These professionals administer nasal swab tests at stations throughout the United States. Their roles require frequent travel to area clinics and long hours helping ensure the health of their communities. They face long lines of people requesting tests, many of whom are suffering from the dangerous, highly spreadable COVID-19 disease.
WHAT THEY DO
COVID-19 testers are charged with providing safe and effective care for patients under the direct supervision of a licensed nurse in accordance with regulations.
SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION
One way to show appreciation for COVID-19 testers — and any healthcare professional currently overwhelmed by the pandemic — is to wear a mask in public. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people wear masks in public settings, like on public and mass transportation, at events and gatherings, and anywhere they will be around other people.
Below are some basic “Dos” and “Don’ts” from the CDC. Check in with your local health department for more information on masking requirements for your region, as each state or county may have different practices in place.
• Wear a mask to help protect yourself from getting or spreading COVID-19.
• Wear masks with two or more layers to stop the spread of COVID-19.
• Wear the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
• Put a mask on someone 2 years or younger.
• Put a mask on anyone who have trouble breathing or anyone who cannot remove the mask without assistance.
• Wear a mask intended for healthcare workers — for example, N95 respirators.
Slowing the spread of the virus will help all healthcare workers maintain a more manageable workload during this stressful period of the pandemic.
You’ve likely heard the buzz around “essential workers” and their importance to the country at large. But what are essential workers and what makes their jobs so critical to our education, health care system and overall economy? When we saw the first wave of shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders in response to COVID-19, there were some obvious industries that the country could not afford to shut down. This spans health care, teachers, PPE manufacturers and other sectors. Basically, these professionals are still required to work, even as residents of cities and counties are prompted to stay in their homes, away from businesses and the public.
WHAT THEY DO
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, essential workers are those who conduct a range of operations and services that are typically essential to continue critical infrastructure operations. Critical infrastructure is a large, umbrella term encompassing sectors from energy to defense to agriculture.
Here are some of the common sectors considered “essential” by the govern- ment:
• Child care
• Water and wastewater
• Agriculture and food production
• Critical retail (i.e. grocery stores, hardware stores, mechanics)
• Critical trades (construction workers, electricians, plumbers, etc.)
• Nonprofits and social service organizations
SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION
Essential workers are critical to the country’s economy and our overall well-being. Here are some basic ways you can show your appreciation.
Create a sign for your yard. Make a statement by creating a custom yard sign that you put near your mailbox. Your message can be as broad or specific as you want — but it may have more impact if you localize it to show pride for your region. You can thank health care workers, delivery drivers or teachers. Involve your kids to make it a family affair while teaching them the value of appreciating others.
Write personal thank-you letters. Take your act of kindness a step further by writing a thank you letter you can actually deliver to essential workers. Depending on the circumstances, you can either type it out and send it over email or write it and have your mail carrier deliver it to your recipient. Either way, your efforts will surely boost the spirits of the essential workers in your area.
Along with health care workers, one of the most taxed professions during the pandemic has been the delivery driver. Outside of Amazon, UPS, FedEx and the post office, services such as Uber Eats and Grubhub have become essential to cafes and restaurants that can now only sell takeout. Stay-at-home orders have dramatically increased our reliance on delivery of essential products, food and gifts for others. The least we can do for these workers is show patience and appreciation.
WHAT THEY DO
Along with home delivery of groceries, pharmaceuticals and more, demand for food delivery is bigger than ever before. Drivers work directly for manufacturers of these products or for third-party trucking companies providing the services. This higher demand has added extra stress on already overwhelmed drivers trying to meet the growing expectations of timely, quality delivery. In order to more fully appreciate delivery drivers, it’s crucial to understand the supply chain process that allows your products to show up on your doorstop — many times in less than 48 hours. Drivers are responsible for following logistical processes while delivering high-quality products to customers in a safe, courteous and timely manner. They are also key in inspecting delivery vehicles and ensuring the safety and security of the loading and unloading process.
A great way to show appreciation for your delivery drivers is to not compromise their health. Wear a cloth face covering if you are interacting with them to sign for a package. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges customers to avoid close contact with delivery drivers as much as possible. Help your drivers practice contactless deliveries to the extent possible. Contactless deliveries allow you to receive a delivery at a doorstep and maintain a distance greater than 6 feet away while verifying receipt of the delivery. You can also consider leaving positive reviews on social media, leaving a tip or giving your driver a handwritten thank-you note. Understand what they are going through and be a positive light to their daily lives. Every act of kindness will go a long way to lessening the stress on delivery drivers during an extremely challenging time.