I have several close family members in the healthcare field still showing up for work at hospitals every day, putting themselves at risk to help the rest of us, and I feel so proud of them. There’s no question that nurses, doctors, and EMS are all heroes and for years to come, will be remembered and celebrated for the sacrifices they are all making – and will continue to make – for the rest of us.
But there is another group of workers who are also playing a critical role and making sacrifices, but don’t receive the respect, salaries, or recognition that our healthcare workers do: and that’s grocery store workers. I’m thinking of two of my sons, and when all of this ends, I hope all of those minimum wage workers who have suddenly become essential workers, that are staying at their jobs to feed us will be recognized and hailed as heroes as well, and rewarded with a livable wage.
It was my sister, Barbara, who educated and made me think about this. Not just because she’s one of those healthcare workers still showing up for work at a hospital in Hamilton each day, but when I tried referring to her as a ‘hero’ she was mortified. She insisted that the true heroes are those who don’t receive the same level of respect or pay or recognition, yet these minimum wage workers (in grocery stores, etc.) are also critically important. She mentioned how she’s been thanking clerks whenever she’s gone into a store, and it made me realize I should have been doing the same. She’s always been a huge proponent of ensuring a liveable wage for all Canadians, and I hope this will be one possible positive from all of this ordeal once the dust finally settles.