Reader's View: Value essential workers after emergency, too

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The pandemic has brought about the realization of social, economic, racial, and religious disparities. It was only through the pandemic that we started to realize who the essential and valued people really are. It was just not the health care workers, doctors, EMS personnel, firefighters, and public officers. Although, don't get me wrong, they certainly are our heros.

But let us not forget also those who have serviced us and are also unsung heroes. They are your bank tellers, stock clerks, deliverers, refuse collectors, gas station workers, and the list goes on.

During the time of the shutdown, all these people have been considered essential employees. Some were given hazardous pay. Now that the emergency is being lifted, so is the hazardous pay. Ironically, the hazard is still here. It is probably more dangerous now, with businesses and people out and about, than it was before when people were staying home.

If anything should come out of this tragic pandemic, it should be to address the disparity issues that have become so apparent.

I urge all businesses to continue to value their employees and to provide them with continued hazardous pay or an increase in their pay. Without them, your public or private entities could not have functioned. We as a society could not have functioned. It is time to put our money where our mouth is.


Let us remember this time not as a tragedy but as a way to change our economic disparities and value of all our heroes.

Paula B. Matthews

Moose Lake

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