The COVID-19 outbreak is pulling the mask off of the 40-year corporate attack on government

It’s more apparent than ever that tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy have decimated public health budgets and shredded our social safety net. On top of that, widespread mistrust in government—which was deliberately sewn by conservative politicians and pundits—has slowed the country’s ability to react to the crisis. 

But other masks are being pulled off too. After decades of being ignored and criticized, America’s nurses, teachers, janitors, bus drivers, and other public workers are showing that we can’t put a pricetag on their value to our communities.

Take for example Aaron Meier, a sanitation worker in San Francisco. Over this past weekend he tweeted this heartening message:

“I’m a garbageman, I can’t work from home and my job is an essential city service that must get done. It’s a tough job, from getting up pre-dawn to the physical toll it takes on my body to the monotonous nature of the job, at times it’s hard to keep on going.”

“Right now though, right now I am feeling an extra sense of pride and purpose as I do my work. I see the people, my people, of my city, peeking out their windows at me. They’re scared, we’re scared. Scared but resilient.”

“Us garbagemen are gonna keep collecting the garbage, doctors and nurses are gonna keep doctoring and nurse-ering. It’s gonna be ok, we’re gonna make it be ok. I love my city. I love my country. I love my planet Earth. Be good to each other and we’ll get through this.”

Need a reason to smile? His message has been liked by 812,000 people.  

As we care for each other during this crisis, we can’t forget about the teachers educating kids online, the postal workers sorting our mail, the municipal staff keeping our drinking water clean, and the millions of other public workers still on the job.

We must #ProtectALLWorkers.

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