Recently there’s been a lot of talk about what’s considered to be an essential service, and what’s considered as non-essential.
One of the most often overlooked positions in our economy is truck drivers. No one would debate whether or not truck drivers are essential. If you brewed your morning coffee in the comfort of your own home this morning you can thank a trucker for getting it to your local grocery store.
It’s always been a thankless job. During this ongoing pandemic, their ability to deliver our daily necessities is what is holding our fragile economy together. Yet there continues to be somewhat of an overreaction to precautionary measures for many shippers and receivers. For example, drivers being denied access to onsite washrooms, etc.
As understandable as these protocols are for health and safety, it just adds another layer to why many young professions pass on the idea of getting into trucking. The trucking industry was and is already dealing with the high average age of drivers before the coronavirus outbreak started.
If this pandemic has shown us anything, it’s revealed there’s a high number of under-appreciated roles in our society today, and how critical these roles are to preserving our way of life.
Tim Horton’s just announced it will open over 400 locations along Canadian highways to truck drivers, providing access to front counter service for food and drinks and access to washrooms that will be sanitized every 15 minutes. The company is also in the early stages of rolling out a new curb-side mobile ordering system to support them.
It’s a small gesture, but one that will show front line supply chain workers the appreciation they deserve.
There have been similar stories like the New England Patriots using their team plane to fly in 1.2 N95 masks from China, with the majority going to frontline medical workers. Other major corporations have followed suit in other ways.
Cashiers, garbage collectors, package handlers all can’t stay in quarantine like the rest of us. It’s our social responsibility to support them during this time. Even a small gesture goes a long way in making that happen.