I started to write a post entitled ‘Brave’ several weeks ago. I was working on editing it this morning and started to write an intro to address the current situation. Not far into writing the intro, I realized that the intro needed to be its own post. Don’t worry, and I am still going to post ‘Brave’ as I do believe that it is still a very poignant post. I am not going to modify that post. Instead, this one will speak to what I thought this morning. So, without further ado, here it is, the intro that became its own post.
A LOT has changed in our world since I started writing a post about bravery. I think the message that I was working on is even more relevant now than it was even just those few short weeks ago. I was going to modify ‘Brave’ before posting to address the current environment directly but then decided not to. I will say this, though – there are so many acts of bravery occurring every minute of the day. We are not privy to the majority of those. Really, we never were privy to those brave acts – they occurred behind closed doors, drawn curtains, or blocked off sidewalks. Many of those acts may not have been considered brave until the world was brought to a literal standstill.
This morning I decided to venture out to get some groceries. I hadn’t been in weeks, and I thought that I should go before I actually needed anything. Basing my thought process on the fact that the last time I went, the shelves were rather barren. The day that I decided to do this was yesterday (Monday, March 30th). As my fellow Marylanders know, that was the day that Governor Hogan signed the executive order requiring residents to stay in their homes unless it is for essential reasons – grocery store, pharmacy, walking the dog, etc.
That order became effective Monday at 8 pm. Yup, the same day I was going to go grocery shopping. Well, I decided that would be a bad time to go because I knew that people would be flocking to the grocery store to stock up because well, they didn’t realize that they could go to the grocery store under this particular order? I have no idea, and I am not second-guessing what others feel they need to do in this time. I am simply pointing out that what I thought would happen did, in fact, occur. Glad that I dodged that bullet.
Getting up this morning, I actually wasn’t sure that I wanted to go to the grocery store. It is the only place that I have actually gone and will go in the future that I might contract COVID-19. I think everyone can understand the level of hesitancy bordering on anxiety. In my situation, I have to do it. I am the only one in my household that can. Putting on my big girl pants, off to the store I went. As I parked in the fairly empty parking garage, I am already thinking of alternatives for the items on my list just in case.
As I walked towards the door, there are signs asking people to use hand sanitizer before entering the store. Why thank you, don’t mind if I do. Entering the store, there are two folks with towels sprayed with disinfectant wiping down the handles of the cart, and I was offered one for my hands (I brought the cart from the cart corral). Yes, thank you! Can’t be too careful.
After that, I was on my own. Pushing my small cart around, I noted the signs about keeping six feet distance between ourselves and others. It’s a bit tough (aisles are just not designed for that level of distancing), but I, and my fellow shoppers, try our best. There are some shoppers wearing masks and gloves. We are all quiet as we move about the store looking over items before picking them up and placing them in our cart.
To the Brave
As I was walking around gathering items, I realized that the people who are at the cashier stations, stocking the shelves, providing disinfectant for the carts, retrieving carts, and generally taking care of the rest of so that we have shelves stocked with food, they are BRAVE.
Braver than I even realized during my time walking around gathering my groceries. They are on the front lines of this pandemic too. It is a different front line but a front line nonetheless. Wars are lost and won based on the supply line. And this war that we are waging against an invisible foe is no different. We would not survive without food, and the only way we know how to get that food are the grocery stores.
To all of those on the front lines of our supply chain, I say, “Thank you for your service.” Today and every day in our foreseeable future, thank you for getting up every day and going to work. Thank you for being brave. Thank you for being the superheroes you are.