Not all heroes wear capes

Finding creative ways to honor essential workers

In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, essential workers are the glue that’s holding the world together. With Colorado’s stay at home order set to last until May 8, around half of Colorado’s 6 million residents are under stay-at-home orders, while the other half are deemed essential and are still required to go to work.  

Essential workers are everywherefriends, family, neighborsthey are people who we may not know but are a huge part of our community. In these difficult times, they deserve to be appreciated, through thanks and hopefully through other benefits that their jobs are supplying. Every day that essential workers go to work they are putting their health and safety on the line, something that they did not sign up for.  

In Colorado, many communities have found various and inspiring ways of celebrating essential workers and the steady services that they continue to provide through the uncertainty of the present. 

One of the more popular celebrations that has taken over the state, as well as spread to others, has been the 8:00 p.m. howl that began from a Facebook group organized by Shelsea Ochoa and her partner Brice Maiurro. The howl began as an attempt to get friends to join them, according to an article from The Denver Channel, but soon grew larger than expected as hundreds of people began to join in. Now every night, neighbors join each other outside and by windows as the clock strikes 8 to let out a howl in support of first aid responders, health care workers, essential workers, and many other meanings that people would like the howl to hold for them.  

Another thank you to frontline responders are the Thunderbirds multi-city flyovers that are currently set to go until mid-May. According to a release by the Department of Defense, titled “America Strong,” from the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force, “America Strong is a collaborative salute from the Navy and Air Force to recognize healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential personnel while standing in solidarity with all Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels have already begun their flyovers.  

The School of Mines’ prominent glowing M on the side of Mount Zion has also been altered in support of healthcare workers and essential workers. The M now glows red in the shape of a heart nightly until the semester is set to end. According to an article from Mines Athletics, the President of the school, Paul C. Johnson detailed, “Our local healthcare workers and first responders, as well as our neighbors staffing grocery stores, making deliveries and patrolling our streets, are making it possible for the rest of us to stay well and safe at home. We are so thankful for their sacrifices and dedication.” 

There are many more celebrations that are being done in support of essential workers, both statewide and globally, that are easy and fun to participate in or view, even at home. 

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