It is well past time to revisit gratitude to essential workers

To the Expositor:

This month we have acknowledged the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic. When I think back to what our lives were like one year ago, I remember many different things. Something that has stuck out recently in my mind is remembering all the things we were doing to thank essential workers. We had parades, signage, church bells ringing daily, sidewalk chalk art, etc. to celebrate all that the essential workers were doing to help us to stay safe while working and schooling from home—it was amazing! At that time, COVID was in Ontario, but we were quite lucky up here in Northern Ontario to not have many active cases in our area.

Fast forward to today, it seems that we, in the Sudbury-Manitoulin District are in the third wave now and things are worse than ever before. The new variants seem to be spreading more easily and we are experiencing outbreaks in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, shelters and more. I can only imagine the strain that this is putting on all essential workers. Personally, working in the education system has been really tough this year. Many of us have been exhausted throughout the entire school year. Living through a pandemic is difficult for so many individuals and families.

When I look around today at what is happening to support our frontline and essential workers—there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot going on. I can understand that many of us are feeling weary after a year of these restrictions, but I think it’s time to rally the troops, Manitoulin! Let’s get back to organizing parades, making signs and posters, sidewalk chalk art and random acts of kindness to support all the essential workers who are still trudging through the pandemic at work, every day. Hopefully, these small acknowledgements will help to lift us all up when we may be feeling down.

Chi-miigwech to everyone who continues to work on the front lines, as essential workers. We truly appreciate everything you are doing! We will get through this together!

Jillian Peltier

Little Current