The other day, I shared stories from 40 essential workers who are all putting themselves at risk to make sure the rest of us can get by at home. There were so many responses from other essential workers sharing their front line experiences, I needed to post a Part Two. It’s humbling to realize how much broader the definition of essential workers is than I previously thought. It’s not just about doctors and grocery store workers. There are so many essential jobs that most people don’t even think about.

20 More Essential Workers Share Their Stories

1) “Yesterday I held a dying woman’s hand and had my other palm to the window. Her daughter was outside the window putting her palm on mine, to mime holding her mother’s hand. This stuff is hard.” – Lizz

2) “I directly test for COVID-19 everyday. I specifically asked to be trained for COVID-19 testing. I touch known positive patient samples everyday. I have a 7-year-old son that I put at risk everyday, along with a gem of a babysitter that I would be lost without. I wish I could give her more money. Sometimes I wonder if my career is worth it. But I chose this duty to serve the sick. I am part of the forgotten essential workers – the medical laboratory scientists.”- Clyde

3) “I work in an accounting office, and while it may not seem essential, we’ve been working overtime trying to get small business relief loans and payroll protection loans so that businesses can pay their employees. We spent a whole day last week on the phone with a client who is distraught and threatening suicide. It’s been a highly emotional time. My father is bedridden and my mom won’t let the home care nurses in the house because she’s scared, so she’s caring for him alone. I can’t go help her since I still have to go to work.” – Carrie

4) “I’m a child protection worker and my husband is an account manager as well as a volunteer firefighter. He’s currently able to work from home and manage our two boys’ distance learning while working full-time. I still go to the office daily, but have to meet with my clients by phone or video-conferencing. It’s incredibly difficult to assess safety from behind a mask in a front yard. Our caseloads are hardly manageable now, I worry about what my caseload will look like once kids have access to mandated reporters and can share what they saw while home. Home isn’t the safest place for everyone.” – Kelly

5) “I am a 911 operator in a large city. We have to keep going in no matter what. I work nights 5 days a week until 6:00 a.m., and then I have to home school a pre-schooler with special needs and a 1st grader, while also caring for a toddler. I know schools are trying their best, but the system isn’t set up for parents still currently working. And it doesn’t help that even though our city is supposed to be on stay-at-home orders we are busier than ever at work because people refuse to comply. I’m just tired, but very grateful my family is still healthy.” – Denise

6) “I’m a nanny and feel like childcare providers are overlooked in all of this a lot of the time. I am very grateful for a consistent paycheck and job security, but it is an exceptionally stressful time to be in the childcare/domestic work industry.” – Gabz

7) “I work for a diaper bank, and my husband works in radiation oncology at our local hospital. I’m so grateful his department values my work as much as his- he goes out to work Mon/Wed/Fri and I go out Tues/Thurs, and we attempt to homeschool/work from home/survive on our off days. The need out there is SO great. My diaper bank is giving out 30,000 diapers a week and it isn’t slowing down. My husband is increasingly treating cancer patients who also have COVID. We’re so lucky to be able to keep earning and doing what we love. Ultimately I’m glad to be out doing the most good I can, even with increased risk.” – Lorna

8) “Tellers, bankers, under-writers, etc. are continuing to show up every day, process transactions, facilitate loans, help small business owners to gain funding to keep their businesses afloat. Bank employees are here to help, and still handling cash transactions which could carry germs. I’m proud to be a branch manager with an incredible team. I don’t need recognition- but it would be nice for the thousands of other bankers to receive a shoutout.” – Jae

9) “My husband is an essential worker. He is a cable technician that works outside as well as in people’s homes fixing internet and cable issues. He was just given 5 masks and gloves to last him for a month. They have been overbooked and understaffed. The stories he tells me are terrifying.” – Camille

10) “My husband and I both work in trucking, and we are so very lucky to have parents willing to watch our 5-year-old and 10- month-old while we work. I worry everyday for the safety of my kids and our parents. We know my husband has had cases at his work, but they can’t shut down. My little girl’s birthday is on Thursday and it’s so hard to explain to a 5-year-old why we can’t throw her a big party. It’s heartbreaking.” – Heather

11) “I haven’t lived with my kids in four weeks. I work as a counselor in an inpatient facility, and due to receiving new clients on a daily basis I’ve been social distancing from my entire family to keep them safe.” – Kristi

12) “My aunt is a nurse anesthetist working with COVID patients doing intubations. I had to move in with her to care for her 5- year-old and homeschool her. Everyday she works she’s at risk of bringing us home the virus. She got an antibody test today which came up negative. It feels like we’re sitting ducks waiting to be infected.” – Phoebe

13) “I work in a bank located in a grocery store, so we are unable to close our ‘lobby’. Everyday we interact with people, and although we get our share of ‘non-believers’ out there, we do get angels too. A customer asked how our supplies were the other day and brought us back a can of Lysol wipes. A true angel.” – Ashroz

14) “I’m a labor and delivery and postpartum nurse, and a single mom. Every day there are changes to procedures. It’s exhausting. My job is stressful enough without all the changes. I worry about keeping my patients and their babies safe. I worry about emergencies with my labor patients. We’re slowed down by putting our PPE on. But we can’t NOT be safe because we all have families, too, and we deserve to be safe. I worry that I’m bringing the virus home to my son. I worry about my sister who is seriously ill with an autoimmune disease. I worry about my adult children who live away from home and are still working.” – Jen

15) “My husband and I are both essential employees. He is in the grocery business and I am an in-home childcare provider for essential parents. I also have parents in a long-term care facility. I never questioned about staying open, I just do because these parents rely on knowing that their children are being taken care of while they are taking care of what’s needed for their jobs. We will get through this, and we will learn from this.” – Deanna

16) “I’m a social worker in a dialysis unit, considered essential. My husband is a kidney transplant recipient, and he’s also a college student trying to homeschool our 4 and 6-year-old boys while completing his classes online. It’s madness. I’m worried about exposing him. Luckily we have proper PPE and are screening everyone, but it’s still concerning. He had pneumonia at the beginning of March, so he has been pretty much quarantined since. Living with an immune-compromised person is already nerve-racking, but in a pandemic the fear is even more enhanced. We are trying our best to keep everyone safe and making the best of this terrible situation.” – Laura

17) “I work at a bank, and we are working overtime processing loan deferrals and small business relief loan requests. It’s so hard having our members financially in distress, and it doesn’t help that I live in one of the hardest hit oilfield towns in Alberta. We have been struggling economically for years already.” – Jessica

18) “I’m a speech-language pathologist in the schools, and my husband is a nurse. I’m home with the kids and thankful to be paid, but I’m having a hard time juggling home schooling, doing my job, attending every training I can to try to figure out how to do my job through distance learning, while also caring for my children and trying not to worry what my husband is being exposed to every day. It’s incredibly hard to do this. I miss my students, I miss my job, I miss normal life.” – Carol

19) “I work in case management and have been lucky to be able to work from home. I have a 7-year-old, 5-year-old, and 2-year- old who are home with me full-time. My husband has been deployed since July of 2019. It’s not easy, but we’re making it work, and my employer has been more than amazing and supportive.” – bgrenke

20) “My husband is a firefighter and paramedic. He’s come in contact with positive COVID-19 patients every shift. His normal 24 hour shifts are now more like 36-48 hours. My two kids and I have autoimmune disorders and are high risk, but we can’t go anywhere because my mom and sister are also high risk, and we’ve just had too much exposure through my husband. He’s gone above and beyond, working while I try to homeschool a Kindergartener and an autistic 4-year-old. We do six tele-health sessions for PT, OT, SLP, and ABA therapy a week. It’s chaos and way too much screen time. But for now we’re safe and healthy and just happy that we’re together.” – Celeste

Let this post be a reminder that while the world seems really scary right now, there are still good people helping everywhere.