CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — For many of us, Labor Day has traditionally been a sign of the end of summer. But in 2020, all of our traditions and schedules kind of went sideways.
And through it all, there were people who did things like:
Ensure we could feed our families;
Care for our elderly,
or teach our children.
Think of what could have happened had these essential workers had just stayed home during these very difficult times.
You would not have had people like Martin Bachner, who helped clean environmental spills for the Department of Environmental Conservation.
Or Sgt. Norah Harrington, of the Albany Police Department.
There’s also Paula Stit, a manager of a Stewart’s Shop in Loudonville.
And Dr. Kate Tauber, who cares for infants at Albany Medical Center’s NICU.
NEWS10’s Anya Tucker asked these essential workers to share the challenges of working during the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Kate Tauber: “So, our jobs didn’t change on a day-to-day basis. But what did change is the stress and anxiety of going to work with this potential unknown.”
Martin Bachner: “Are you taking the right precautions, so that you don’t take [coronavirus] home because everyone else has been at home.”
Sgt. Norah Harrington: “Many community outreach programs are put on pause. The challenges come between bridging the gap between the police and the community.”
Paula Stit: “What’s changed the most is the wearing of the mask has become the new normal. Some of our customers sometimes they forget. So we have to remind them at the door.”
So on this Labor Day, what does being an essential worker mean to them?
Sgt: Harrington: “We have an obligation to the community to come here and uphold their safety and their mental health.”
Dr. Tauber: “I think now we have a new appreciation for other people in our community who are essential workers like grocery store employees, gas stations, pharmacists.”
Paula Stit: “Whether it’s a fireman, a Stewart’s employee, a grocery store employee. We are all needed, and we were needed through the entire pandemic. So, I feel all the people out there, I just want to say ‘thank you’.”
From those of us at NEWS10 ABC, we also say “Thank you essential workers everywhere”.