Arrangement of colorful spring flowers in the public park, springtime

As we take this Easter weekend and celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as believed by parishioners worldwide, let’s not forget those who have been sacrificing themselves during the onslaught of Coronavirus to save our world also.

In doing so, if ever there was a buzzword to capture the spirit of the pandemic, ‘essential workers’ would definitely be one of them, as they’ve been highlighted now as never before.

From restaurants to retail, pharmacies to postmen, these workers have been on the frontline providing services and goods to the public, at a time when doing so could have detrimental effects to their own health and families; while keeping our economy from tanking, despite record job losses.

Sure the toilet paper struggle is over (what a weird thing that was, by the way), but there are so many things we all continue to rely on from them being there.

Their continued sacrifice has made our lives better: the least we could do is to ensure they’re given a decent wage to continue doing so, as a way of thanking them.

For first responders -- medical, police, fire -- they’ve long been striving to protect and care for citizens, at the most harrowing of times, and today during the most dangerous of situations.

My next door neighbor is a respiratory therapist, and tells me about the tragic situations he deals with on a regular basis.

“I wish people could see what it looks like in the hospitals,” he says, “they wouldn’t take COVID as a joke.”

When his shift is done, he comes home, places his scrubs in the garage away from his family to be cleaned separately and safely.

I salute his sacrifice, as I’m sure his recovering patients do too.

And while a few policemen have gotten recent attention for their gross behavior and dereliction of duty, the majority of police work selflessly to ensure our safety; even when sacrificing their own.

As such, all emergency personnel need to be heralded for their continued bravery, amidst a world unlike anything seen in over 100 years.

Lastly, as a parent of the pandemic, I can personally attest to the role teachers have been playing in my life.

My wife used to be a high school teacher, my mother-in-law is a retired special education teacher, and my mom is a teacher’s aid -- so yeah, I have a soft spot for teachers.

Despite being in a hard situation, our teachers continue to be there for our most treasured resource: our children.

I know how difficult it is to assist with virtual learning: our eight-year-old’s whole second grade school world is compressed into a laptop, across from our kitchen table.

So as he watches some of his schoolmates on camera in a classroom, my wife and I see his teachers instructing them, him, and others online.

It’s a juggling act.

I can only imagine the struggle for these teachers as they worry about not only keeping their students safe and studied, but their own personal concerns about contracting anything and spreading it to their own children and families.

For teachers, their worries are on multiple levels across many factors, their sacrifice needs to be applauded just as much.

So this Easter, while gathering with family -- safely and socially distant when required -- take a moment to be thankful for those whose everyday sacrifices work to make quarantine living a little easier. We should thank them for their lives too.

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