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Thank you for all that you do as an essential worker, even when it means risking your life

by Sarah Beattie 2 years ago in slam poetry
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An open letter to all the essential workers

To all the essential workers,

You know who you are

The ones who go to work every day

Risking your health and the health of the people around you

The ones who are under-appreciated undervalued

You know who you are

We would be lost without you

Without the basic everyday things that we need to function

You make it possible for us to continue to be safe

You know who you are

The world calls you heroes

The reality is you are a hostage to your job

A job that up until now many felt was worthless and beneath them

You know who you are

You know that people take you for granted

You know that many times you are mistreated

You bear a weight and stress that is unfathomable to many

And for that I am sorry.

I am sorry that you are going to work under these conditions

Dealing with the Karen's and other people who might not have your best interest in mind

Dealing with the anxiety of possibly getting this disease

Dealing with the fear of giving it to a loved one.

I am sorry that many workplaces are treating you like you are expendable

Not giving you the proper protection to make sure that you are safe

Putting profits before people, where safety comes in last

Where neighbors have sewing parties to close the gap.

I am sorry that as soon as this is over things will go back to the way they were.

People quickly forgetting your sacrifice and the fact they needed you

Telling you that you should not deserve a living wage.

Treating you like you are invisible but I guess that’s better than expendable

I am sorry that your worth is not recognized

That people are still disobeying the stay at home orders

Despite the research and your sacrifice every day

That being paid what you are worth and hazard pay are not part of your job

I am sorry that it would be easier to be nonessential

That you could be in quarantine safe with your family

That you do not have to weigh your health against your paycheck

That your life would not have a price tag

I can say, "Thank You"

Thank you for doing your job and making it possible for me to stay home

Thank you for keeping the stores open and the shelves stocked

Thank you for keeping the trash off the streets

Thank you for keeping things clean and moving forward

Thank you for everything that you do every day to make sure that we flatten the curve

Thank you for helping keep people safe

Thank you for keeping things clean and sanitary

Thank you for taking care of the sick

Thank you for for doing your best

Thank you for taking every precaution that you can, because we still need you healthy

I know that we ask a lot

We ask you to put up with a lot of changes, stress, and anxiety

We ask you to stay healthy without giving you tools or taking the precautions

We ask you for things that are out of your control

I want you to know that I see you

I hear you and when the time comes I will stand beside you

I will be your advocate when you ask for a living wage

I will be you advocate when you ask for hazard pay

I will help your voice be heard because you are essential

You deserve better

You deserve to be treated better by society and by corporations

You are more than a person increasing profits

You are a person helping all of us stay safe

We needed you and you came through, later when you need us, let’s hope we can return the favor

slam poetry

About the author

Sarah Beattie

I am 26 and nothing is going according to plan. The last few years have had a lot of ups and downs as I navigate through a quarter life crisis.

Follow me on Instagram @Beattisa

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