If you went out over the weekend, you probably noticed a lot less traffic than usual. There was probably an eerie quiet, as there is in tourist destinations the world over. But you probably noticed was type of vehicle out in full force: delivery trucks. There’s still going, with Amazon, FedEx, and UPS drivers going the last mile to make sure we get our contracts sent out and our shipments of toilet paper in.
If you had a chance to get out on the highways, you noticed long-haul truckers are doing the same, getting food shipments to grocery stores and bringing the nation’s workers the webcams and monitors many of us need to transition to remote work.
What we don’t see are the warehouse workers who gather those items we order at the touch of a button, who load everything on the trucks, and ensure the items we need are to us in a day or two—as if by magic—even during a pandemic. While many businesses are shutting down or cutting back dramatically, Amazon is hiring 100,000 new workers and raising pay to keep up with the sudden spike in demand.
Throughout all this, warehouse workers and last-mile drivers are coming into contact with each other and the general public more than most of us.
“The health and safety of our employees and contractors around the world continues to be our top priority,” Amazon said in a statement. “As communities around the world are requiring social distancing, we’re seeing that our teams—much like grocery stores, pharmacies, and other essential services—have a unique role getting customers the critical items they need and this is especially vital for the elderly, people with underlying health issues, and those sick or quarantined.”
During these days of social distancing, these workers are on the front lines of an entirely new fight against coronavirus and Covid-19, taking risks so that others may shelter in place, and we salute them for it.