In a time where the world seems unpredictable and stressful, it can be easy to take things for granted. Throughout the pandemic, many people have continued going to work, despite the fear and dangers. Here are a few industries in which the employees and volunteers have been working incredibly hard behind the scenes, to keep things ticking over.
Mail Service and Delivery Drivers
Whilst stores and restaurants all over the country are operating on reduced opening hours, and people are less willing to leave their homes, ordering online has become increasingly popular. In just the first three months of the year, Amazon’s revenue saw an increase of a whopping 26%. It’s super easy for us to shop with just the click of a button, but what about the people who get our goods safely to our doors?
In the middle of a pandemic, here are just a few ways the USPS has adapted to keep delivering our mail as safely as possible:
- The USPS employs over half a million people and has continued to do so during the pandemic
- Adhering to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- Supplying PPE to over 30,000 locations daily
- Mobile Delivery Devices are no longer used to minimize contact
Mail and delivery services like USPS and Deliveroo usually hire frequently, so check out their websites for opportunities in your local area.
Whilst the use of buses, trains and taxis may have decreased when we weren’t commuting to work every day, the need for transport never stopped completely. People still needed to get to work, and for many, public transportation is the only commuting option. The pandemic has still had a major impact, with companies like Uber taking a huge hit, losing around $1.1 billion in the last three months. Despite this, they continue to run, with many precautions and implementations in place:
- The ‘No Mask No Ride’ policy requires both drivers and riders to wear face coverings
- Encouraging riders to sit in the back and drivers to keep windows open to promote ventilation
- Globally pledging 100 million free rides and deliveries to frontline workers and those in need
- Donating deliveries of PPE
- Waiving delivery fees for independent restaurants and cafes
- Providing drivers with resources for financial relief and career opportunities
Have a look at their Giving Back page, for more information on the work they are doing in their communities, causes to support and how you can get involved.
Food Bank Volunteers
With the harsh economic impact of the pandemic, the need for food banks has greatly increased. The majority of food bank volunteers are senior citizens, but as they are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus, volunteer numbers have dropped. USA Food Bank estimates that 54 million people in America will face hunger as a result of the pandemic. It is best to check the website of your local food bank before donating, as they usually have a list of foods that they require at the time. As well as donating food, here are some other ways you can support food banks:
- Volunteering- check out your local food bank website for volunteering opportunities
- One-off monetary donation
- Monthly monetary donations
- Food drives- these can be organized with physical donations and collections of food, or virtually, with money being raised and donated online
- Add a donation into your will
There are hundreds of food banks in the US, and just a quick search will bring up those closest to you. Some grocery stores may even have drop off points to make donating even more convenient.
Infection Control Nurses
Infection Control Nurses are registered nurses that specialize in various areas of infectious diseases. They are responsible for containing and preventing infectious diseases, as well as the treatment and education of the patients. As well as hospitals, Infection Control Nurses are employed at the CDCs, universities and ACCs.
As well as the aforementioned tasks, Infection Control Nurse duties can also involve:
- Working with scientists to develop new treatments for infectious diseases
- Training other healthcare staff
- Researching infectious diseases and agents
- Analyzing data
- Creating action plans in the event of an outbreak
There are several routes into becoming an Infection Control Nurse, but one popular, accessible way is a transitional course. Many of these can be found on this website here and may even be studied online. These courses aim to build on pre-existing qualifications, to streamline the learning experience, and in some cases can be completed in as little as a year.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross helps provide support and relief during natural disasters and worldwide catastrophic events. Between the pandemic, wildfires and hurricanes, they are doing some incredibly important work, and are always on the lookout for volunteers and support. It is very easy to become focused on coronavirus, and forget that at the same time, millions of people are being affected by other issues, on top of a pandemic. The American Red Cross respond to an emergency every 8 minutes and have been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic. Here are a few ways you can support their efforts:
- Volunteer– check out their website for volunteer opportunities from blood drives to working from home
- Donate blood- donations centers can be found on their website
- Monetary donations- one-off or monthly
- Partner your company
- Host a blood drive- coordinate a blood drive, provide a location, schedule appointments and recruit donors
The American Red Cross also run various training programs for individuals and businesses. These range from first aid and CPR to lifeguarding and AED (automated external defibrillator) use. They also run online courses in CPR, AED, childcare and aquatic training, making these even more accessible and allowing you to train and learn wherever you are.
This is by no means an exhaustive list; there are hundreds of pandemic heroes out there! From emergency frontline workers to schoolteachers, artists still creating work for us to enjoy and musicians putting on kitchen concerts, it is great to take a moment to appreciate everyone pulling together to support each other in their own way!