The coronavirus turned the world upside down in so many ways. It caused economies to grind to a halt as businesses were forced to shut, it caused children and parents to spend more time together as both schools and work were closed. It caused people to sanitize their hands and wear masks regularly to ensure they were keeping safe. It caused people to stop shaking hands and maintain a distance from people they knew and loved. It caused people to stop acting selfishly so that we could “flatten the curve” and reduce the impact on hospitals to enable more people to survive. One other thing it did was cause us to realize how important members of our community that we may have taken for granted in the past really are.
Working in a supermarket is not a high paid job. It is regarded as a low skilled or entry-level. You work long hours usually for minimum wage. Being a garbage man is not a glamorous job. The hours are not nice, the pay is not nice and it is a pretty filthy experience. Even nurses who we are aware do so much for our sick people are underpaid and overworked. Yet during the pandemic, a light was cast on these people and they were finally being appreciated for their hard work for once.
While investment bankers, accountants, and lawyers may earn the big dollars they were of little use to us during the pandemic. All of their work stopped. It was the frontline workers that kept going. Perhaps this pandemic has shone a light on our economy and how somethings are done in the wrong way. While that will take a lot of time to fix for now we can at least start to appreciate these people more. That is what the people of Miami decided to do recently.
Keon Richardson and Saul Scruggs Senior are two garbage disposal men who continued to work through the entire pandemic. Not only did they work through the pandemic but they did so with a positive attitude. They made such an impression on the local community that for many it became a highlight to see them in the morning. The community decided something needed to be said.
One day when Keon and Saul were running their normal route they saw something strange up ahead. The streets were lined with people. While people on the streets are unusual at any time it was bizarre to see such large numbers of people together during the pandemic. As they got closer to the crowd they saw banners with their own names on them and people waving and cheering. This gathering was for them.
The people of North Bay Road, Miami Beach had decided to throw a small celebration in honor of the garbage disposal men. While it was important to maintain distance and wear masks the locals thought they could achieve this and still create a memorable moment for their local heroes. The men were overjoyed.
Amongst the people in the crowd were some family members. Keon and Saul immediately went to embrace them and thank them for this special token. Even the Mayor was in attendance and awarded both men the declaration of appreciation.
The pair were completely surprised by the crowd and it became impossible to contain their emotions. They were overjoyed at the idea that people had noticed the impact they were having on the community and glad that they weren’t invisible to their community.
There is a clear lesson in this story and from the pandemic in general that we must take the time to notice everyone who has a positive impact on our lives no matter how big or small. There are so many people who give up their time to help others and we can go through life always taking. Perhaps it is time to give back.