Patrick Shelby

Patrick Shelby

We are all essential! I don’t need an executive order from any governor or state public health official to recognize my ability or anyone else’s to assist in helping others during this pandemic crisis.

We’re all working together to protect our communities, while ensuring continuity of services critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.

There was a call to duty issued and that immediate role has been led by grocery workers and allied health professionals in this hazardous environment – if you’ve not yet realized that they are frontline heroes, you’re not paying attention.

I spent last week canvassing the lower valley for the opening of COVID-19 testing centers and observed personnel administer mobile diagnostic care of patients. They stood tall in their healthcare commitment and treated everyone with care giving compassion.

Throughout my travels for community news coverage, food supplies at home have been limited; more like scarce. This bachelor’s refrigerator and freezer has been empty – I was not prepared for this novel coronavirus. Fortunately, the grocery store has remained open and I’ve made a few trips to stock up on meal items.

When a disaster strikes, it’s what you do during adversity which helps to define the quality of character you possess.

For some, this was an opportunity to rise up and test oneself, not to be a hero or to prove your bravery, but to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

And, for these two hard working industry professionals, there’s no waiting for the right moment to say, “I really appreciate the emergency work you’re doing and thank you!” I have been gratefully acknowledging their duty of service before they can ask me if I found everything I was looking for.

Going to the supermarket and visiting the only place where I may see a friendly face like I did last Friday evening as I tried to practice social distancing from six feet away in the middle of an aisle. For me, that was more fulfilling than being an instant winner in the Monopoly game.

As the spread of COVID-19 wages on, health professionals and grocery store workers are surrounded in the chaos of ground zero. I believe all the mutual appreciation and admiration for all essential workers in taking care of one another and battling to curb the spread of this disease is certainly part of the cure.

Patrick Shelby can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 110 or email

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