Please remember to say thanks

Johnson City Press • Apr 2, 2020 at 8:00 AM

News media are considered an essential sector during this health crisis, as we are responsible for disseminating vital information. Most members of our news staff, however, are working largely from home for the foreseeable future, as are some in other departments here.

Modern technology affords us that opportunity.

Not everyone in an essential category has that luxury.

Most medical personnel, pharmacists, first-responders, convenience store clerks, grocery store employees, restaurant workers, delivery drivers, public works crew members, mail carriers, plumbers and a host of other people cannot perform their jobs remotely. Many of them are at increased risk for exposure because of their direct interaction with the public. That’s often in closer proximity than the recommended 6 feet for social distancing.

At great risk, many of these folks are on the front lines, making sure the rest of us have food, supplies and necessary services. Imagine the stress involved in standing at a cash register or delivering to multiple households. Think of the endless concerns in their minds and the constant precautions they must take.

The least we can do is say thanks.

In such uncertain times, a word of appreciation or encouragement would go a long way toward lifting the spirits of people in essential jobs. Many of us remember to do so anyway, but now is the time to make that extra effort.

So when someone rings you up or brings your order to your car, let that person know his or her dedication has been noticed. When a delivery driver arrives at your door, open it with a smile and close it with a thank you. Thank the receptionist and the nurse in your doctor’s office. Don’t make it a perfunctory gesture. Sincerity matters.

If you have the means, now is the time to reach deeper into your pocket when you calculate a tip. Yes, you should tip the person who hands you a carry-out order or delivers it to your car. If you frequent a small business on a regular basis, a gift card or a note of thanks might just make someone’s day.

We all need a little positive energy amid this crisis. Share yours whenever possible.