OP-ED: Saluting nation’s unsung heroes during COVID-19 pandemic

Steve Jones
Allied Universal
A shopper looks over cleaning supplies as shelves that once supported an abundance of toilet paper and paper towels lay empty at a Chicago area grocery store Saturday, March 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

In spite of the uncertainty that the coronavirus has caused, there are still many industries filled with hard-working men and women who are continuing to work amid the outbreak. From hospitals to delivery services, to pharmacies, to grocery stores, transportation and logistics and security companies, there are many employees who, while they may not wear capes, are our nation’s heroes.

These largely unsung heroes are helping us survive this crisis by driving vehicles filled with crucial supplies, stocking store shelves, filling prescriptions and providing essential public safety services.

Now is the time to share your appreciation or our nation’s unsung heroes. While most of us are deeply thankful for the doctors, nurses and emergency workers who are tending to the sick, we should also be appreciative for the men and women who hold essential jobs that require they show up to work during the pandemic.

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The front line in the pandemic are the heroes working at grocery stores, gas stations, convenience stores and take-out restaurants. These individuals are keeping us healthy by providing essential services that we desperately need. Consider thanking your supermarket’s shop clerk who is doing their best to keep the shelves stocked with necessities and the cashier who is ringing up the purchases. Express your gratitude to the Amazon delivery person who brought essentials to your home. 

Our nation should all honk in appreciation for the men and women driving tractor-trailer rigs across the country who are delivering vital food and supplies at an unprecedented pace. Some police departments in several states are helping truck drivers find safe places to park and are even arranging to get food directly to the driver.

Let’s salute our hard-working highly trained men and women who are our country’s first responders. Nationwide, there are over 1 million security professionals on the job, classified as essential personnel, who can be put in high-risk situations as they confront and detain criminals engaged in theft, trespassing, gang activity and every other manner of unlawful behavior that occurs.

Employees, shareholders and other stakeholders look to their business leaders for strength and direction. Let’s express our gratitude to the company leaders who are sharing their intel to help others during this challenging time. For example, some leaders are publicly sharing their crisis plans, which include employee communications with information about COVID-19, how it’s transmitted, what they’re doing about it, employee FAQs, and links to resources with more information.

— Steve Jones is CEO of Allied Universal, a North American security and facility services company with more than 235,000 employees and revenues over $8.4 billion.