If there’s one good thing to come out of this COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the recognition that has been long overdue for our front-line workers – both those in the public eye and those who work behind the scenes.
It is often easy to overlook the people who make our lives run smoothly, whether that be the nurse who takes the extra time to make us comfortable during a trip to the hospital or the bus driver who gets us where we need to go.
But COVID-19 has redefined what it means to be an essential worker, requiring those workers to put their health and safety on the line to help those around them. Workers who collect our garbage and recycling, ring through our groceries at the grocery store and deliver our takeout dinners in a contact-free manner are now counted among those everyday front-line heroes who keep our city functioning. For every person who is waiting at home for pandemic conditions to lift, there are many people working harder than ever before.
Last week, businesses and organizations in St. Albert came together in the May 13 Gazette to salute those people helping to hold the fabric of our community together. Community members reached out to us to nominate friends, loved ones, coworkers and competitors who have helped to make a difference. The outpouring of gratitude was inspiring for us, and we hope it lifted the spirits of our city’s front-line workers as well as our readers.
The list of nominees we highlighted was by no means comprehensive. We’d need more space than this paper could offer to list all the good works that have transpired since the advent of the pandemic. Yet the contributions that led to these nominations deserve a spotlight.
St. Albert’s Roshan Arul, the president of Tru Beauty Salon Services, was nominated for helping salons and stylists access rent deferrals and reductions, as well as government subsidies and supports. He told the Gazette he is fortunate to have the privilege of supporting other small businesses – now there’s an attitude that ought to inspire!
Some of the nominees you may have read about in previous editions of the Gazette, such as photographer Jake Bradley, whose photos of St. Albert families on their porches brought in nearly $4,000 for the food bank. Some of them, you may have seen on social media, such as muralist Robert Murray, whose paintbrush has touched the lives of many. All of them deserve a special thanks for their efforts.
Yesterday, Mayor Cathy Heron pronounced May 19 as a day to recognize and appreciate the contributions of front-line workers. We’ll take this opportunity once again to say thank you, today and every day, for making our community a kinder, brighter place to live.