The coronavirus pandemic outlined exactly what America sees as essential for a stable society, and many of the workers trying to protect that baseline are toiling under the most trying of circumstances.
The global health crisis has forced entire countries into lockdowns, ordering people to stay at home or practice social distancing to help stop the spread of the virus.
Even our first responders — our nurses, doctors and EMTs — have never faced the types of challenges Covid-19 produces. These essential workers risk their own health every day to help protect as many lives as they can, often enduring shortages of life-saving medical equipment and personal protection such as gloves and masks. Essential workers also include police officers, firefighters and the National Guard who help maintain order.
Employees in grocery stores, take-out restaurants, the U.S. Post Office, warehouses and drugstores are just some of those risking getting sick to keep the country running.
"Not all heroes wear capes," Sen. Chuck Schumer said earlier this month while proposing a new "Heroes Fund" stimulus for essential workers. "Some wear masks, some wear scrubs. These Americans are the true heroes of this pandemic, and we need to make sure they're taken care of."
The following photos highlight some of our essential workers on the frontlines of this crisis.