I started to write a post entitled ‘Brave’ several weeks ago. I was working on editing it this morning and started to write an intro to address the current situation. Not far into writing the introduction, I realized that I am redefining bravery in light of COVID.
A LOT has changed in our world since I started writing a post about bravery. The message I was working on is even more relevant now than just a few weeks ago. I was going to modify ‘Brave’ before posting to address the current environment directly but decided not to.
I will say this, though – so many acts of bravery occur every minute of the day. But, unfortunately, we are not privy to the majority of those. We never were privy to those brave acts – they occurred behind closed doors, drawn curtains, or blocked off sidewalks.
We may never consider those acts brave until COVID brought the world to its knees.
Grocery Workers – VERY Brave
Strategic Grocery Shopping
This morning I decided to venture out to get some groceries. I hadn’t been in weeks and thought I should go before I needed anything. Basing my thought process on the fact that the last time I went, the shelves were rather barren.
The day that I decided to do this was yesterday (Monday, March 30th). As my fellow Marylanders know, that was the day that Governor Hogan signed the executive order requiring residents to stay in their homes unless it is for essential reasons – grocery store, pharmacy, walking the dog, etc.
That order became effective Monday at 8 pm. Yup, the same day I was going to go grocery shopping. I decided that would be the wrong time to go because I knew people would be flocking to the grocery store to stock up.
Getting up this morning, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go to the grocery store. Yet, it is the only place I have gone to and will go to in the future to which I might contract COVID-19. I think everyone can understand the level of hesitancy bordering on anxiety.
In my situation, I have to do it. I am the only one in my household that can. Putting on my big girl pants, off to the store I went. As I parked in the empty parking garage, I am already considering alternatives for the items on my list, just in case.
As I walked towards the door, signs asked people to use hand sanitizer before entering the store. Why thank you, don’t mind if I do. As I entered the store, there were two folks with towels sprayed with disinfectant wiping down the handles of the cart. They offered me a towel for my hands (I brought the cart from the cart corral). Yes, thank you! Can’t be too careful.
Keep Your Distance
After that, I was on my own. Pushing my small cart around, I noted the signs about keeping six feet distance between ourselves and others. It’s a bit tough (aisles are just not designed for that level of distancing), but I, and my fellow shoppers, try our best. There are some shoppers wearing masks and gloves. We are all quiet as we move about the store looking over items before picking them up and placing them in our carts.
To the Employees
As I was gathering items, I realized that the people at the cashier stations, stocking the shelves, providing disinfectant for the carts, retrieving carts, and generally taking care of the rest so that we have shelves stocked with food, are BRAVE. Looking at these people who were on the front lines of contracting COVID is how we should define bravery.
Braver than I even realized during my time walking around gathering my groceries. They are on the front lines of this pandemic too. It is a different front line but a front line nonetheless.
Wars are lost and won based on the supply line. And this war we are waging against an invisible foe is no different. We would not survive without food; the only way we know how to get that food is through
To all of those on the front lines of our supply chain, I say, “Thank you for your service.” Today and every day in our foreseeable future, thank you for getting up every day and going to work. Thank you for being brave. Thank you for being the superheroes you are.