Marilyn Englander: Supply Chain

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 (Marilyn Englander)

Everyday heroes populate our supply chain of necessary goods and services and Marilyn Englander wants them to know she’s deeply grateful.

The mail came as usual today. The garbage truck woke me at dawn. My online grocery order will be delivered this afternoon.

Our lives are still limping along with some semblance of order despite a frightening, disorienting pandemic. Mail carriers, clerks stocking grocery shelves, firefighters, nurses, journalists providing news updates, utility crews — these, and more, are our lifelines.

Yet it’s easy to forget that for every instance of normalcy we enjoy, someone out there is assuming an enormous risk to health, even life. Packages don’t “get delivered”: drivers load their trucks together at the warehouse and go out into an infected community to bring us what we need. Employees at groceries move around the store among their fellow workers to fulfill the orders we place. Pharmacists are on duty filling prescriptions at the drugstore. Postal workers handle thousands of pieces of mail — coming in from all over — every hour.

Each of these brave souls could be in the wrong place at the wrong time and fall ill.


Each one is a hero.

Those who provide essential services — healthcare, food, mobility, public safety are continuing to work, demonstrating stunning courage, honor and loyalty. They are the staff in emergency rooms, judges safeguarding peoples’ legal rights following arrest, policemen on the beat, folks selling food or fuel, all those delivery people. Without their brave efforts, everything would collapse. But who knows the price they may have to pay?

They are modern-day saints moving among us.

The rest of us, sheltering in place, must let them know how grateful we are. We need to acknowledge their courage and strength however we can — with a big tip, a thank you note taped to the mailbox, a bow of gratitude wherever we see them.

These courageous, but vulnerable, giants safeguard our welfare. We owe them everything.

With a Perspective, this is Marilyn Englander.

Marilyn Englander is a North Bay educator.