Hwang Thanks Front Line ‘Helpers’ against COVID-19 Pandemic

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” — Mister Rogers

We are all facing major changes to our daily lives as we adapt to a new reality during this unprecedented health crisis. It’s a challenging time fraught with fear and uncertainty. But in the words of Mister Rogers, “You will always find people who are helping.” And indeed, so many Americans residents on the front line are helping.

They are working tirelessly — “out there” — to provide the essential services we so wholly rely on. They are still reporting to their workplaces, despite the increased stresses that surround them. They are showing up for all of us. And they are working harder than ever.

These unsung heroes are facing family pressures such as childcare needs, working longer and more unpredictable hours, and frequently functioning with reduced staff and insufficient personal protective equipment (PPE). Ultimately, many of them are facing health dangers every day, and as the statistics climb, so do the risks to them and the people they love. They are on the front lines and we owe them our appreciation.

I want to personally express my deepest gratitude to all the “helpers.” From the medical professionals and first responders to those running our day cares, grocery stores and pharmacies. To those in construction and manufacturing, utilities, funeral homes and sanitation workers, farmers and skilled tradesmen and women like electricians, HVAC and plumbers. To those caring for our seniors, providing janitorial services, driving trucks and making deliveries to keep our vital supply chains operational.

To restaurant and other small businesses owners who have adapted to “curbside” and web-based business models, and to their employees who continue to prepare our food and provide critical services. To the nursing and home care attendants, clergy, real estate agents and accountants, and of course, the teachers who have had to completely rethink how to keep our children from falling behind. To all of you and to those I have neglected to mention, I say “Thank you.”

I also want to acknowledge those of you are doing your part by staying at home. You are working remotely, juggling children with work responsibilities, and caring for your families and neighbors. Patience, composure and compassion are important during times of crisis. And I am proud of how our friends and neighbors have risen to the circumstances. Thank you for staying home and staying safe.

It’s important that we all do our part. Working together is the only way to overcome this pandemic health and economic upheaval.

State Senator Tony Hwang serves CT’s 28th District: Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Westport, Weston

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