A Note to 65 Million Unsung Coronavirus Heroes

No hard-core political analysis or perspectives from me today.

And no commentary on the stock market, economy, election, foreign affairs, the coming recession (seriously), or any of the usual stuff… including Trump.

Nothing directly about the coronavirus, either.

Instead, I want to take this moment to do something I think should be happening to one degree or another in the major media every day — but I sure haven’t seen much of it.

It seems they’re too busy grabbing ratings and raking in big ad revenues with their breathless coverage of the COVID-19 crisis to think of anyone but themselves.

That’s why I want to thank the 65 million Americans (it’s easily that many, by my calculations) who are out on the front lines of the coronavirus siege, while people like me stay safely in the rear, hunkered down in our comfy little home-bunkers.

As a writer by trade, I have the luxury of voluntary isolation. But so many of my fellow Americans do not…

So today’s brief dispatch is for them, from me — on behalf of not just myself, but all those who may be grateful to these everyday heroes.

To the approximately 30 million retail employees in America, many of whom have the job of assisting customers face-to-face on the sales floor, sometimes measuring and sizing them, helping them try on footwear or clothing, or loading large or heavy items into their potentially contaminated vehicles…

I say, “thank you.”

To the 15 million restaurant employees — the servers and managers and greeters whose job it is to handle our menus and take away our plates and run our credit cards, whether we’re sick or not — and the buss staff who have to clean up after us, and the cooks whom we trust to stay home when they’re sick, even when they desperately need the money…

I say, “thank you.”

To the 7 million or more nurses, doctors, and other workers in U.S. hospitals whose job it is to touch, treat, or be around sick people, courting increasing risk of coronavirus infection with every passing day on the job…

I say, “thank you.”

To the 5 million public and private school teachers and college professors across the fruited plain who’ve been trapped in classrooms every day these last few weeks (we’re finally seeing large-scale school closures), breathing air recycled from the lungs of 75 million students, some of them no doubt sick with or carriers of the coronavirus — and having to touch their desks and chairs and books and art supplies and basketballs and confiscated phones…

I say, “thank you.”

To the 3.5 million cashiers out there, captive behind their registers mere inches away from hundreds of people every day, scanning and bagging groceries or retail goods handled by folks in varying degrees of health — taking dirty cash from their customers’ hands, and politely putting change back into those same hands…

I say, “thank you.”

To the 3 million or more American truckers who haul all that stuff we order online and buy in stores, wolfing down drive-through and diner food in cities and towns that might be contagion hot-spots, hitting the latrines and getting gas at giant, bustling truck stops filled with other truckers who may have just passed through other coronavirus red zones…

I say, “thank you.”

To the nearly 1.5 million American longshoremen, dock workers, security personnel, and other employees who offload, process, and secure our incoming international freight, a huge percentage of which comes from mainland China, the epicenter of the coronavirus contagion…

I say, “thank you.”

To the more than one million flight attendants, TSA agents, baggage handlers, and other airport and airline industry workers in the U.S. right now who have to serve us with a smile or pat down our bodies even as we cough on them — and tote our luggage around whether it’s contaminated or not…

I say, “thank you.”

To the 600,000 American postal workers who handle and shuffle and sort and receive and deliver all those millions of letters and packages every day, some of them no doubt boxed by infected hands or licked by infected tongues…

I say, “thank you.”

To the 300,000 or more “last mile” parcel delivery drivers in the U.S. who come to our homes, courteously interacting with hundreds of people a day at sneezing range, handling all those boxes and envelopes — not to mention those electronic signature pads touched by God-knows-how-many people…

I say, “thank you.”

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And to everyone else in America who’s on the front lines of this crisis…

I’m talking about the nursing home staffers, the cab drivers, the valet parkers, the social workers, the government employees at the Motor Vehicle Administration and other offices, the cops and firefighters, the federal personnel at our national parks and museums like the Smithsonian…

Plus, all those people working in other jobs that put them in direct contact with the public that I’ve forgotten to mention here…

I once again say with all my heart, “thank you.”

The politicians, health experts, international leaders, pundits and celebrities get all the headlines…

But YOU are the real heroes of this crisis — and your courage should be recognized and saluted by all Americans.

Gratefully Yours,

Jim Amrhein

Jim Amrhein
Freedoms Editor, Whiskey & Gunpowder

P.S. Readers, if you know one of the folks I’m talking about here, forward this to them. Help me lift some spirits here — because hope, pride, and courage are going to carry America through this as much as anything else, I think.

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Jim Amrhein

Just like he was 15 years ago, when first he sullied the pages of the original Whiskey & Gunpowder e-Letter and various other forums, Jim is still ornery, opinionated, politically incorrect, and shamelessly patriotic. He’s also more convinced than ever before that government can’t do much of anything right — except expand in scope and...

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