They were once considered to be inconsequential and didn’t deserve a seat at the proverbial table of society, but with the advent of a deadly pandemic, they were rechristened and given a new moniker — essential workers. When the virus of death came knocking at the door of society, it wasn’t’ those who have esteem seats at the lavishly rich table of society that stepped up to the call. And it wasn’t the front line grabbers of wealth, power, and everything good in society who came to its rescue; they were too busy repositioning themselves as the back of the line observers. Once again, it was the working class and working poor who answered the call and came to society’s rescue and lifted her up from bending knees. They were sacrifice as front line workers in the midst of the deadly pandemic which also made them frequent catchers of the virus; while their employers … the front line grabbers of wealth increased their bottom line at a relatively safe and healthy distance. Ironically, these same wealthy employers have refused to provide health insurance to their low-wage employees but now they’re forcing them into the front line of a health crisis. These workers were caught in the midst of two crises, not going to work and face the reality of hunger and homelessness or going to work and have a chance to meet with death. And even though some of these workers were already short on essential resources in their lives, they are still being asked to sacrifice and put their most important resource on the line — their health.
A vaccine had come, the virus will go and the front line grabbers of wealth will devise a new plan to grab more and share less; but the front line workers will go back into the darkness of oblivion as prize fewer champions. They will once again be intentionally and systematically push to the back of the line of everything good in society, and society will once again christen them as inconsequential and disposable workers. Some may say that I am cynical, but those who think otherwise must be ahistorical because history teaches us that the workers of the world are caught in the cycle of being used and misused. They’re society front line defense on the battlefield and in times of crises but are back of the line participants in its prosperity. The pandemic didn’t only inflect society with a new type of sickness, it has also unearthed and exposed the old sickness of social and economic injustices that had long been plaguing it. It exposed how those who have the most always lose the least and those who have the least always lose the most regardless of good or bad times. We’re living is a society where the lines have been drawn and the social and economic injustices are so entrenched between the haves and the have nots that not even a pandemic is powerful enough to change this dynamic. The haves will always be in the front of the line of everything good yet they’re in the back of the line of everything bad, while the have nots will always be in the back of the line of everything good but the front of the line of everything bad. When this crisis is over the front-line workers who have managed to still stay alive will receive the emptiness of thunderous applause and those who were not fortunate to be alive will be saluted as front-line heroes. But unfortunately, the living front-line heroes will return to the back of the line in society while those who are no longer alive will end up in the back of its mind.