Many residents in the Shoals are spending more time at home as a safety precaution amid the coronavirus outbreak and others continue to work at businesses and government offices that have shut their doors to the outside world. Whatever our individual situation is, we should all be grateful to those who continue to do vital work that leaves them exposed.

At the forefront are the men and women who work in the various health care fields. They are certainly on the front line of this developing struggle to contain the virus. They have taken an oath to treat the ill to the best of their abilities, and locally, throughout Alabama and the nation they are doing so – and doing it despite the shortage of much-needed protective equipment, proper medication and enough beds and equipment to properly administer care to those sick.

Next in line are those who must provide our emergency services – our police and law enforcement personnel, volunteer and paid firefighters and emergency medical technicians. They don’t get to close themselves off from the public in the name of safety.

“When 911 calls us, we have to respond,” said Florence Fire Chief Jeff Perkins. “We are taking extra precautions, but that’s all we can do.”

When they’re not responding to emergency calls and return to their duty stations, firefighters and police officers are doing the same things everyone else is doing – sanitizing their work areas, washing their hands and applying hand sanitizer frequently and practicing social distancing.

But the list of others working to keep our community functioning extends way beyond the health care and emergency services fields.

There are the truckers, couriers, and delivery service employers who are working harder than ever to keep the shelves of our stores stocked with the food, toilet paper, sanitary wipes and other goods we need on a daily basis. There are carriers and postal workers who continue to bring newspapers and mail to the homes of local residents.

There are the staff members of our pharmacies and drug stores who are still filling prescriptions for those who need medications.

There are the restaurant employees who continue to prepare food and their co-workers who man the cash registers so we can still have take-out meals when we need them.

There are the employees of utilities, garbage and road departments who fixing roadways, keeping our lights on, picking up our trash and recyclable items. There are the plumbers, electricians and contractors still busy working on houses and buildings. And there are the mechanics who must keep our vehicles and other equipment running.

And the list goes on ...

Thank you to each and every one of the individuals who are showing up each day, despite the risks and fears. We, literally, couldn’t keep going without you.

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