2020 is the year of the caretaker. Anyone who works in the direct service of others. Doctors and nurses and medical staff yeah, but teachers and checkers, bus drivers and janitors too. Babysitters and hospice workers. Airline stewards and hotel clerks. And good public officials. And restaurant workers. And stay-at-home parents. And social workers and emergency staff.
Journalists who brought you the truth and asked tough questions at the risk of their careers (and they’re lives in some cases). Scientists who devoted their lives to the study of disease and DNA structures. Sanitation workers who kept cities from becoming trash heaps.
Protesters who, through smarter means than they’ll ever get credit for, made people think for the first time in a way they had not considered. They might not have gotten through to everyone, but there is someone in your life who reconsidered the reality they lived in for the first time and made steps to correct injustice.
Performers and creators and crew members who kept your life to this point filled with live music and Broadway and film and TV and even monster truck shows. The few at the top make it look glamorous. But the truth is most of them barely scrape by. And they sacrifice a lot to create things that save lives and make them fun and richer.
Every single one of us who has ever helped a neighbor, a stranger, a friend, a loved one beyond the capacity of what is polite or expected. We who have buoyed each other through uncertainty and fear and desolation and loss. And who celebrated the good in each other through all the Covid birthdays and baby’s first steps and graduations done remotely over zoom.
We need all of us. This is the year of the caretaker. It is the year of us all. Thank you.