COVID Convos — Let’s Thank The Cashiers Along With The Medical Professionals

COVID Convos — Let’s Thank The Cashiers Along With The Medical Professionals

by  Michael P Coleman

COVID Convos is a series of original columns conceptualized to give you something else to think about as we manage the coronavirus pandemic. Hopefully, they will provide you with a different perspective about an issue related to the crisis…or a brief smile. Remember, with COVID-19: this too shall pass.

We’ve all been pummeled by the novel coronavirus, both physically and emotionally. It’s almost impossible to watch television anymore, with even the scroll at the bottom of escapist shows like NBC’s Ellen’s Game Of Games being filled with global COVID-19 mortality stats, and projections that the worst is yet to come.

Times like these are reminders to thank the doctors, nurses, first responders, and all professionals who are doing their best and literally putting their lives on the line for the best interest of the people they’re serving. You can hardly watch a newscast without someone, either the anchor or the on-air “expert” / guest thanking members of the medical professions, very deservedly, for the job they are doing.

But I’ve been stopped in my tracks, as we’re collectively pausing to thank everybody, by the overall exclusion of one key group of professionals: the cashiers and service people at the grocery & convenience stores, big box department stores, and fast food restaurants.

No one signed up for exposure to the virus that causes the potentially fatal COVID-19…but medical professionals, first responders and the like did, kinda. At the very least, they knew when they chose their profession that the time might very well come when they would be asked to risk their lives to save someone else’s.

The kid working at McDonalds did not. When he started working there part time last fall, he didn’t know that his school year would be cut short by a global pandemic and he’d be stationed at a drive-thru window, like the one around the corner from your house, waiting on car after car full of potentially asymptomatic, coronavirus-infected fast food junkies who couldn’t bypass a Big Mac to potentially save someone’s life.

My heart breaks for the medical professionals, but many of them have been making a very good living in a job that they knew might threaten their lives and those of their loved ones. I like to tell myself that that’s why, in part, they are generally highly paid.

We don’t even want to pay the cashier at Wal Mart a living wage, while their jobs, suddenly during the pandemic, have been deemed “essential.” And they’re being asked, night after night, to work from sundown to sun up restocking the toilet paper shelves that we emptied during our panic shopping binges, or spend their days without protection as they let people like you and me buy the restocked paper towels.

READ MPC’s full column, and find out what the freelance writer thinks is every bit as contagious as the novel coronavirus.

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Click here to connect with freelance writer Michael P Coleman, click here to check out his blog, or follow him on Instagram and Twitter:  @ColemanMichaelP