7 Essential Workers: Stories From Women Who’ve Stepped Up & Supported Us
The True Heroes of Our Time
The endless support from essential workers risking their lives to save ours, we cannot thank you enough.
Since COVID-19 emerged, it has changed our lives in so many unimaginable ways possible. Despite the unprecedented challenges, it's the essential workers who are taking care of American citizens, meeting their everyday needs while facing dangers of getting exposed. They have proven to be the true heroes behind the scenes during this difficult moment in time. There isn't enough gratitude that can weigh out the sacrifices they make amid this pandemic. It's without a doubt that this pandemic changed the whole world, but we hope, that narratives from our essential workers serve as a key of faith for all of you to push through this year.
We introduce you to essential workers from all walks of life, a senior living facility cook, a navy janitor, and many more who keep our communities running, safe, and sound. We may not know what the near future holds, but one thing is for sure, we're all battling this pandemic together, and that one day, we will see normalcy again.
Stories from our Essential Workers
Kayteesha Draper - Senior Living Facility Cook
Hello, my name is Kayteesha Draper and I live in Colorado. I work at a Senior Living place called Morningstar of Arvada. I am a dishwasher and food prep worker there, but since covid 19 and the stay at home orders, my job changed drastically. I am currently a server, prep cook, dishwasher, and a Filler for positions that need to be covered. We switched to disposables at the very beginning of all this and we started delivering boxed meals to our residents instead of allowing dine-in services. Two servers (myself included) delivering breakfast to three floors within the timeframe of 7:50-9:30 has been a huge set back, but we know this is their home and we’re going to do everything we can to get us all through this rough time. We know they miss their families and they miss being able to sit and dine with other residents/their friends and family. Even through all the changes our workplace had to make, we’ve stayed healthy and positive the entire time. Our staff is dedicated to following the safety and health procedures to a T.
Jacqueline Jaco - Urgent Care Receptionist at Kaiser
I am an urgent care receptionist at Kaiser.
Things are definitely different in that we now have to screen everyone coming in. We have those plexiglass barriers up in front of us between patients.
By screening i mean that anyone and everyone who enters the building has to get their temperature checked and if they have any of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, fever or sore throat, they need to be sent out to the tents we have set up for covid-19 testing.
It’s been difficult to deal with patients who are very frustrated and scared all at the same time.
Megan Stone – Emergency Medical Technician
I am an Advanced EMT working full time and going to school to be a Rad Tech full time also. I also have two children at home, one with Down Syndrome. That alone is stressful and now the pandemic on top of it.
Kayla Richard - Nursing Home
I work in the nursing home where 362 patient was tested and positive for COVID-19 and also coworkers. It was ashamed a lot of people passed from this pandemic. It changed my job because you can’t just go in there now and be with the clients and spend time with them like you used to. You have to go in full covet gear and we have to wear the same ppd since we are low. Haven’t seen my kids in a while since my youngest two kids are ill. 16 hour shifts.
Jennifer Ward - Navy Janitor
Hi I’m a crew leader for a janitorial service that cleans the military base here in Richmond, VA called Bellwood. We go to work everyday and have had several government workers test positive for the virus and we clean the buildings after they leave have been tested and being positive so far no one in the cleaning service has gotten the virus we take all precautions to make sure we are all safe and healthy and so far we are doing great. I pray everyday that I stay healthy so that I can provide for my family and no get sick.
Chelsie Ellis – Registered Nurse
My name is Chelsie. I just recently celebrated my 8th year of being a registered nurse. Whoohoo! I have worked as a travel RN for the past 4 years, and I am currently on my 10th assignment.
As a travel nurse I get to visit different towns, cities, and states throughout the nation and work at their hospitals. It's a true adventure, and I regret not starting sooner.
I'm an Arkansas native that grew up next to the Texas border. I have lived and worked in Arkansas, Texas, Georgia, Missouri, and Arizona. As for my 10th assignment, I came all the way to Maryland. I've never been to the east coast, and I was so excited to see the shore, experience the culture, and taste the fresh seafood.
So far I have spent my first 5 weeks in quarantine and state lockdown. I visit parks with my "road dog", Roxie, she travels everywhere with me. I have not seen the shore. I have mostly just seen people in masks. The freshest seafood I have tried so far came from a local grocery store, pre-made.
I celebrated my 31st birthday alone, apart from my family and close friends. Traveling wasn't an option. I received phone calls, texts, video chats, and posts. It all wasn't quite the same, but I'm thankful.
A friend once asked me, "What would you be doing if you weren't a nurse"? My answer... "I have no idea. This is all I want to be." This is what I am, this what I do, this is who I am.
Due to the pandemic, the east coast has not been what I expected, or what I was looking forward to. Nonetheless, I am so happy to be here! Everyday I walk into work and I make one person smile, one person breathe easier, one person feel less pain, one person feel more at peace, one person feel loved, one person feel human. If I do at least one of these things everyday that I put on my scrubs, my mask, my face shield, my badge; then I am happy.
I am doing what I love! My true calling that my grandmother blessed me with when I was 15. I am proud to be a nurse! I am thankful for all of you that support us.
Thank you so much for allowing me to share my story.
Remember to wash your hands, stay safe, 6 feet apart, and smile...even under your mask. We need each other more than ever. We all are essential.
Sharla Kohnen - Forklift Driver at warehouse
I’m a forklift driver and I deliver parts to the line to build refrigerators. A lot has changed since the pandemic started. We are to wear mask permanently until otherwise told. There are dividers at every station and break room. Our temps are taken every morning before entering the building and every time you enter from outside from a break of some sort. It’s crazy and scary to go to work. It’s rough also when it’s so hot as it is in the factory and we must wear mask which makes it even worst, not only hotter but it fogs our safety glasses bad, makes it very hard to drive and see anything. Hope this helps. Thank you so much 😊