Erica May on I Am an Essential Worker

The year 2020 introduced new words into our vocabulary that have now become commonplace. COVID, Coronavirus, social distancing, pandemic, virtual meetings, virtual learning, contact-free, face-coverings, quarantine and essential worker are some that easily come to mind.

COVID-19 introduced protocols and procedures that have changed how we interact with each other in the world.

One term that became popular during the government mandated “shutdowns” was the term essential worker.  It was during this time, local governments requested businesses close and people stay home to prevent the spread of the virus. That was unless you were deemed — essential.  Just as the restrictions varied from state to state and municipality to municipality – so did the classifications as to what employees were considered essential.

Courtesy of Erica May

2020: THE YEAR OF THE ESSENTIAL WORKER

Some have called 2020 “The Year of the Essential Worker”.  Professions like nurses, doctors, law enforcement, and first responders were lauded as heroes.  People wore the title of essential worker as a badge of honor.  Occupations such as plumbing, electricians, utility workers, lawn care and grocery store workers were thrust in the forefront as we were reminded just how essential they are.

As a 9-1-1 professional, I am among the essential. I was still able to and expected to be at work every day. There were some benefits to being deemed essential. Some benefits include continuing to work without interruption in income, receiving free/discounted meals from restaurants, and receiving hazard pay. My favorite benefit came from the State of Tennessee. Essentials workers received free child care for the year beginning in March. My husband and I paid 9k in daycare costs last year. Since April of this year, we’ve paid nothing.

While my family and I have been fortunate to remain employed and not experience any health challenges, there was still something tugging at my spirit.

There were inconsistencies that would not allow me to take full pride in my status of being an essential worker. That’s when I realized that I had always been an essential worker; even before the pandemic. I became focused on my status as an essential worker, not for the City of Memphis or the Memphis Police Department; but for God’s Kingdom.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Erica May