I stepped on a bee. A tiny, industrious bee. This stinging encounter — on the beach, of all places — put me into bed for a day with a purple, swollen foot iced-down and elevated on a pillow.
The bee died, of course, so obviously its experience was worse than mine. In my case, Benadryl cream worked wonders, and I was back on my feet the following day. I didn’t even miss a day at work, but it got me thinking:
What if I couldn’t wear flip-flops to the office, but instead had to pull on steel-toed work boots, or lace up foam-soled nurses’ shoes or slog through damp places in rubber waders?
What if I didn’t get paid if I didn’t put on that footwear and punch the time-clock?
What if one brief encounter with an angry bee had kept me home for a day and made it difficult to pay the rent or the phone bill or buy groceries? Even one day’s pay makes a big difference to people living paycheck-to-paycheck.
And right now, that may be many more people than we here realize.
As Labor Day comes around, I’m thinking of all the people who put on work shoes, masks and other COVID protection to go to work and allow our community to feel “normal” in very abnormal times.
In this edition, you’ll meet some of these hardworking people. In their professions, they see the best of us and the worst — especially during trying times. I am grateful for their efforts to keep us healthy, safe and informed during this unprecedented pandemic.
This Labor Day, as you’re making plans for your own long weekend, please pause for a moment and say “thank you” to our neighbors on the front lines.
And if you make it over to the beach, be sure to watch where you step. …
— Mary Kate Leming, Editor