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Davis, California

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Thank you essential workers for your tireless work throughout the pandemic

Be kind and remember to appreciate those working amid the recent COVID-19 surge

After our short but sweet stint having in-person classes and — dare we say — some sense of normalcy during fall quarter, the last thing most people wanted was to return to online school and spiking COVID-19 cases. But, here we are, and though we’re all upset about the newest surge, it’s important to remember that the essential workers who have gotten us through almost two years of this pandemic are continuing to show up, and we should be grateful. 

Healthcare workers have worked tirelessly, dealing with staff shortages and the physical and mental strains of working during a public health crisis in which not everyone can get the care they need. During the lulls between COVID-19 surges that have allowed many to be more social and feel more “normal,” these workers have continued to treat severe COVID-19 infections, and even see people die from it, on a regular basis. We can only imagine that as we approach the two year mark of the pandemic, this record surge can only be making their jobs even harder, and we want to express our gratitude for all healthcare workers — and urge you all to do the same.

It’s also important to acknowledge the burden that has been put on our instructors to adjust their course format and content quickly as campus guidelines have changed. From planning for in-person instruction to having one — and now four — weeks online, teachers have had to quickly re-write tests more suited to online learning, work out ways to conduct labs, make sure they have childcare during their classes and many other behind the scenes adjustments that we haven’t had to think about. 

And of course, we understand that this volatility has not been easy for students either, but we need to remember that on the whole, people 18 to 29 years old are less vulnerable to hospitalization and death as a result of COVID-19 infection. Even though some students’ risk assessment of in-person classes is fairly low, others may not feel comfortable having in-person classes. In addition, some of our community members are older, immunocompromised or have unvaccinated or immunocompromised family members. We don’t know everyone’s situations, and we need to acknowledge that what is preferable for some might not be best for everyone. 

The same can be said for all other essential workers — like retail workers, restaurant employees, Unitrans drivers and others. Due to the staffing shortages that many businesses were experiencing last fall, coupled with the steep rise in employees contracting COVID-19, many restaurants and shops have had to cut back store hours, cut or extend employee hours and work with less staff per shift. While it remains important to support local businesses, if you do choose to go to a restaurant, coffee shop or local store, try to be extra kind and patient — and tip well if you can. 

Though all of this might sound like a broken record in 2022, it bears repeating. None of us expected such a sharp surge this far into the pandemic, let alone the pandemic lasting this long at all — and none of us are happy about it. So please take it easy on those around you, and yourself, and express gratitude for the healthcare workers, teachers and all essential workers that are getting us through this tough time.

Written by: The Editorial Board

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