We often forget just how fragile we humans are. In today’s modern age, widespread epidemics seem like a thing of the past. Especially in places like here in the United States. Modern vaccines and antibiotics have helped us stave off deadly viruses and illnesses that would have once ravaged us. That is…until coronavirus. Or more specifically COVID-19.
We now find ourselves in a completely unprecedented situation. Whole countries are going on lock-down and asking (if not forcing) “social distancing” to try and contain the spread of this highly infectious killer.
Sure, we’ve seen epidemics before, and we’ve even experienced global pandemics on more than a few occasions. But none of them has ever seemed to cause the fear or impact (in not only human lives but the fabric of society itself) that coronavirus has.
Coronavirus has Forced Workers into Their Homes
With this outbreak, many people around the globe find themselves at home, glued to the television waiting for good news in a terrible time. The most fortunate among us are able to continue working while weathering the storm. Others are not so fortunate. Thankfully, working from home has become a more common arrangement for Americans, with a Gallup survey revealing that 43% of those polled work from home occasionally.
But what about those that can’t work from home? Entire industries are coming to a grinding halt. Movie theaters, bars, restaurants, and virtually all sporting events are now becoming something we can only hope to enjoy again in the relative near future. With that, there are masses of workers who find themselves hunkering down at home unable to continue working.
Then there’s the group that readers of this article are all too familiar with. The one occupation this country simply cannot do without. Truck drivers.
The Coronavirus Won’t Stop Our Truck Drivers
Trucks move more than 70% of all the goods that are transported within the United States, and in 2017 that equated to more than 10.8 billion pounds of freight. That’s not just an impressive stat, that’s the backbone of the country. Without trucking…without truck drivers, this country, and many others like it, can’t function.
It’s in trying times like these that we need our men and women of the road more than ever. Unlike those of us who are waiting out coronavirus from the relative safety of our homes…drivers don’t have that option.
There is No Work from Home to Avoid Coronavirus for Our Truck Drivers
They’re out there right now. Delivering load after load in a seemingly unending task. And as America braces itself for an increase of cases of COVID-19, and does its best to prepare for the inevitable strain on hospitals and medical facilities, truckers are the ones carrying the crucial and lifesaving supplies that our medical personnel and first responders so desperately need.
Truck drivers don’t have the ability or luxury to work from home as some of us, myself included, do. Without them, we cannot survive. That’s not hyperbole. That’s a fact. Every day truckers make all of our lives possible by delivering the goods and products that we depend on.
With all of the sweeping and seemingly instantaneous changes happening all around us, perhaps the one thing that hasn’t changed is our utter dependence on the men and women driving trucks and hauling freight who are out there no matter what.
Your Drivers Need You Too
In times like these, it’s easy to become hyper-focused on ourselves or our own personal situations. However, we must now more than ever be sensitive to our drivers and their needs, and the many challenges they come up against.
Even now as they are out there in the face of this pandemic, more and more businesses are closing up shop. Things that were once taken for granted, like parking lots, restroom facilities, and even rest stops themselves have become harder to come by as cities and states take steps to try and limit the spread of the virus.
If you’re reading this article, I would venture to bet that you have some sort of regular contact with drivers, or at the very least did at one time. In these uncertain times, we must come together in any way we can. It is more important than ever to show your drivers how valued, appreciated, and needed they really are.
As indispensable as the profession is, truck drivers have always had to battle a negative stigma. Now, they find their options on the road limited even as we ask them to do evermore. They need to know your team is there for them. Whether that means going the extra mile to help clear up an issue with a shipper or vendor in these hectic times, or dispatchers just taking a moment to see how they’ve been handling everything, or to let them know just how important they are and saying thank you, our drivers need you more than ever too.
We Will Beat Coronavirus and Our Truck Drivers Will be a Key Factor in that Victory
Inclement weather. Natural disasters. Civil unrest. Terrorist attacks. And now widespread illness on a global scale. What do they all have in common? No matter the challenge, no matter the scale, truckers have kept this country, and the world for that matter, going.
I don’t know what the future will bring. I’m not certain how long we will have to endure this monumental shift in our daily lives, or how it will impact our lives in the long-term. What I am sure of, is we will get through this. We WILL find a way to beat the coronavirus, and our truck drivers will be a key component to that victory.
I don’t expect the average joe to ever really know just how much of a service these men and women provide. Nor can I claim to really understand what it’s like to live out of a cab away from my loved ones on the road…especially in times like these. But none of that really matters. What does matter is the coronavirus is here, and we need our truckers more than ever.
Truck drivers are the ones who will deliver the life-saving supplies and tests needed to curb the spread and end this pandemic. Truck drivers are the ones risking their own health traveling and moving freight all over the country while the rest of us try our best to isolate ourselves. And whether the average American knows it or not, it will be truck drivers that help win the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus.