Let’s not forget the country’s truck drivers during pandemic

Published 9:49 pm Saturday, April 4, 2020

There are some people on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic — doctors, nurses, EMTs, and other health workers.
But, there’s another group. They’re not working in the hospitals and emergency rooms, they’re on the road every day delivering supplies to our local stores — much needed items as bread, meat, milk, toilet paper, diapers, and sanitary wipes as well as many other items.
Truck drivers are risking their own health in doing their job.  As they travel across the state and country, they themselves are at risk of contracting the coronavirus. They can’t work from home as many are during this crisis.
They are still doing it because they know their job is important. They are a vital part of the food supply. They bring the food products to the stores so they are available to consumers.
This is true about other goods, too. Without the truck drivers, more shelves would be empty.
It’s funny how we grow to appreciate everyday jobs that we take for granted when there is a crisis or shortage. Now, with COVID-19 and the panic buying that went with it, many store shelves have been empty, especially when it comes to toilet paper and bread.
Truckers are hauling those goods and helping stores replenish their shelves.
Truckers, along with store employees stocking the shelves, deserve our thanks. They are out there on the road every day so others have food to eat and other needed supplies.
Think about it: Truck drivers deliver fuel for gas stations; components for manufacturers; medical supplies for hospitals and nursing homes; food and consumer goods for grocery stores and other stores, etc.
At the same time they are trying to navigate growing challenges on highways and at loading docks as they seek to keep supply chains running to meet coronavirus-driven demand for consumer staples and medical equipment.
They are finding it hard to find a place to eat when they are out on the road due to many restaurants closing or going to curbside or drive-through service. Some states have closed their rest stops, which are places that have served as a restroom stop for truckers as well as an invaluable location to rest when fatigued.
The FMCSA recently lifted hourly driving restrictions for truckers hauling critical medical goods and food for emergency restocking of stores in response to the pandemic. Wednesday, the agency expanded its national emergency declaration to include fuel, paper products and other groceries as well as raw materials such as paper, plastic and alcohol used to manufacture essential items.
Where would our country be without truck drivers? There would be a lot more empty shelves in the stores.
So let’s be courteous to truck drivers and give them a thumbs up or a sign of gratitude for the work that they continue to do.

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