Are Truck Drivers the Least Appreciated ‘Essential Workers’?
2020 has been a strange, strange year. There's no doubt about that. Words and phrases we've never really considered have become a part of life. One of the phrases used the most this year has been 'essential worker'. An essential worker in 2020, according to the Department of Homeland Security, is "those who conduct a range of operations and services that are typically essential to continue critical infrastructure operations." In a lot of cases, we're talking doctors, nurses, police officers, etc.. But what about truck drivers?
My best friend is a truck driver. And throughout the pandemic, he's driven countless miles delivering toilet paper and other essential items to Walmarts and other stores across the country. He and his company have been running non-stop since March to try and keep stores and people supplied with items they need. I don't know about you, but that sure sounds like the definition of 'essential worker' to me. Several trucking companies are working overtime to get the COVID vaccine delivered to states so they can start dosing the population. I know personally, my buddy has had several of his vacations cut short because he was needed back on the road.
But, somehow, they've been forgotten and ignored by most throughout the pandemic. In several states, Louisiana included, truck drivers were not included in any 'essential worker bonus pay' plans. And now, there's a heated debate over whether or not truckers should be deemed essential workers and moved to the front of the line for the COVID vaccine.
The head of the American Truckers Association has asked that truckers be moved to a high priority slot. At this time, it is unclear if that will happen or not...but it should. These guys and gals are driving all over the country to make sure that groceries and everything else gets delivered to stores. I know they may be in their truck, isolated, for long periods of times but they still have to load and unload their trailers. They do have to stop at gas stations to fill up. So, it's not like they are completely isolated from humanity.
I guess the point of this entire post is this: appreciate what these fine folks are doing to keep the country and world running during the COVID pandemic. For most of us, they are just a daily traffic annoyance. But, in the grand scheme of things, they are as vital to keeping things running as a doctor or anybody else. As my buddy Brandon tells me ALL the time, "the world don't run if we don't".
So, maybe we don't need to give them a pay raise or move them to the top of the COVID vaccine list. But a kind word and a cup of coffee every once in a while might go a long way. You can go back to cussing them out for slowing down your morning commute when this is all over. But right now, in the current universe, truckers are some of the most important people on the planet and we should be grateful for them and all that they do.