A garbageman took to Twitter to share an empowering message during this public health crisis. His message alone is a fine example in leadership.
As the coronavirus outbreak worsens in the United States, it is those on the frontlines who are protecting us. While medical professionals are doing their best to combat the epidemic, we may be forgetting another profession that plays a critical role in the same battle: sanitation workers. Garbagemen and other folks in sanitation are a key part of any public health system. After all, if garbage overflowed at a time like this, the public health crisis is sure to get worse. In light of this, a garbageman took to Twitter in order to share a powerful message about the crisis.
Posting a series of tweets on the social media platform, he pointed out the clear disparity between those who have access to two weeks of paid leave or those who can work from home and workers paid by the hour. He wrote, "I’m a garbageman, I can’t work from home and my job is an essential city service that must get done. It’s a tough job, from getting up pre-dawn to the physical toll it takes on my body to the monotonous nature of the job, at times it’s hard to keep on going." Don't fret, his message becomes a lot more positive and empowering as he goes on. "Right now though, right now I am feeling an extra sense of pride and purpose as I do my work," he continued. "I see the people, my people, of my city, peeking out their windows at me. They’re scared, we’re scared. Scared but resilient."
Finally, he affirmed a truth we all want to be believe in. The proud garbageman stated, "Us garbagemen are gonna keep collecting the garbage, doctors and nurses are gonna keep doctoring and nurse-ering. It’s gonna be ok, we’re gonna make it be ok. I love my city. I love my country. I love my planet Earth. Be good to each other and we’ll get through this." Truly, this is the kind of leadership we need at a time like this. Last time we checked, even United States President Donald Trump is yet to make a speech with this kind of determination and strength. Thankfully, where the President has failed, this resilient garbageman has stepped in.
The series of tweets quickly went viral. The original tweet in his thread has been shared over 61,000 times and has over 450,000 likes on the social media platform. Several Twitter users replied to the garbageman, thanking him for his words. One user wrote, "Garbage collectors save more lives than cops, thank you for your service." Another added, "Brother, always remember that your job is vital, a bank manager's job is not. Without you, your city would be chaos within five days, nobody would notice if a bank manager wasn't there for five months." Yet another responded, "You are keeping the people and society safe by taking away garbage. It is a super important job and an honorable one. You guys are the quiet heroes."
Wow you guys I don’t even know what to do with a viral tweet. I have nothing to promote and if I did, I wouldn’t do it on this tweet.— Jester D (@JustMeTurtle) March 15, 2020
My heart is filled to bursting with this response to my words, I’m just a dude with a phone and a little spare time.
Thank you 😊🧡💫
Other users who also are not able to work from home or take paid time off shared their own experiences. A pharmacist, for instance, shared, "I work in a grocery store pharmacy, I can’t do it from home either. We are trying our best, the other day I went nine hours without sitting down or taking a break. People yell at us constantly because they go to the doctor, get a [medical prescription], drop it off, and it’s not ready in five minutes." Evidently, the coronavirus outbreak has been tough on lots of folks who form the backbone of our public health system. Hopefully, we can use this crisis as a lesson and treat these employees better in the future.