Perhaps nothing brought our world together in a more joyful way than hearing cities across the planet shout, bang pots and pans, and honk horns to support frontline healthcare workers during shift changes. In one voice, we were able to tell healthcare workers who were sacrificing so much (and taking on so much risk) that we appreciated them and were thankful for their tireless work. As Thanksgiving approaches during a year of so much loss, we can also express our gratitude by staying home and following CDC guidelines to not travel and comingle during the holidays, thereby preventing a spike in COVID cases. As we make the right choice to stay home and help protect our loved ones, let's take a moment to be thankful for all our frontline workers, those in healthcare as well as those in so many other essential jobs that help keep our nation moving.
There are many essential workers who have kept our economy and daily life stable over the months of the pandemic. Those essential workers who perform services directly with the public, those frontline workers we rely on so much every day, deserve our recognition and gratitude this Thanksgiving season.
In healthcare, we all celebrate the heroes who show up to work day after day such as the nurses and doctors who care for our loved ones. Let's not forget the behind-the-scene frontline workers such as housekeepers, laundry workers, receptionists, and patient advocates. They are essential to hospital operations, and we are so grateful for their work.
Emergency services workers are also right on the frontlines. Firefighters are also first responders, which means they are often the first to arrive when there is a health emergency. Emergency medical technicians must provide healthcare out in the field, without plexiglass barriers or full PPE. Let's not forget the social workers, food bank operators, homeless shelter workers and others helping our most vulnerable populations under these difficult conditions. We are so grateful that these men and women continue to serve their communities so selflessly.
Public transit drivers and operators as well as rail and airplane customer service providers are literally keeping our nation moving. While transit and transportation authorities work behind-the-scenes to implement new cleaning protocols and deploy innovative new technologies, those that directly serve and assist the traveller are at highest risk. We are so grateful that these individuals continue to help our nation stay connected safely.
There are so many customer service and retail workers that we could not live without. Imagine being without our grocery check-out workers, delivery personnel, waiters, and so many others. We are so grateful that they help keep our lives moving smoothly.
Let's not forget how our food gets onto those shelves and onto our tables: The massive workforce employed at meat processing plants, farms, dairies, and so many behind-the-scenes operations. So many of them kept working despite COVID spreading amongst their ranks. We are eternally grateful to those tireless (and often forgotten) workers.
There are certainly massive adjustments we have all had to make during the pandemic. To parents working from home or juggling unimaginable schedules while schools are virtual - thank you. To the teachers who are working overtime to teach across a screen, in hybrid classrooms, or from behind a mask - thank you. To grandparents sending love over video calls and families hosting virtual Thanksgiving feasts - thank you.
We would be remiss in not mentioning the efforts of each and every person doing their best to help their communities by following the critical guidelines to reduce transmission. Those wearing their masks. Those maintaining social distance. Those helping others understand how important it is to our physical, emotional, and financial health to follow the rules. We have so much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.