“Persons of the Year:” Frontline Workers in America

It should come as little surprise that I have selected frontline workers across America as the Hobbservation Point’s “Persons of the Year.”

Last winter, when the Coronavirus Pandemic was in its infancy in America, those of us who took it seriously immediately began following directives from epidemiologists to wear masks and to remain socially distant. As one with several co-morbidities including hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, the experts didn’t have to work hard at all to convince me that this was no hoax; I immediately took to mask wearing, compulsive (if not excessive) use of hand sanitizer, and working remotely via Zoom, StreamYard and similar platforms to protect my and my loved ones health!

Ol’ Hobbs wore masks throughout 2020 and will do the same in 2021…

But I realized EARLY on that I was extremely blessed to work remotely while each day that dawn broke, there were truck drivers, grocery store workers, postal and parcel delivery persons, school teachers, administrators, cafeteria and janitorial staff members, police officers, EMT’s, funeral home workers, nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, and pharmacists who risked their own exposure to the Coronavirus to ensure that the nation’s kids were educated, that commerce continued to flow right on schedule–and that the safety and health of their fellow Americans remained secure.

While the mental and physical strains on all of us have been considerable due to this phantom menace, over the past few weeks, as the first doses of Covid-19 vaccine were distributed by Pfizer and Moderna, I noticed in both traditional media articles and social media posts that many Americans were reticent to get inoculated, including some Blacks who fear that the ghost of racism past–the Tuskegee Syphillis experiments–could rear its pernicious head via the new vaccines. After discussing this very issue with a number of my close personal friends who are medical professionals and researchers, I have used my social media presence to highlight those real life friends who were at the vanguard of receiving their shots due to their front line work in hospitals, as shown below:

Clockwise: Medical Doctors Millicent C. Booker-Ford, Cyneetha Strong- Duckworth, Terri L. Major-Kincade and Kevin Edmonds
Drs. Sonya Marks, Amber Brooks, Dirk Cyrus Johnson, and Eddie Wingfield being vaccinated for Covid-19
Drs. Jara L. Best, Sean Hubbard, Eric Brown, and Hernando Carter taking their vaccine shots

Nota Bene–over a week after these Brothas and Sistas took their shots, each has stated on social media that other than having sore arms, that they have experienced ZERO negative side-effects from the vaccines.

So, to conclude 2020, my final averment of the year is to acknowledge that the Coronavirus has exacted a deadly toll across the globe; very few of us have not been touched by Covid related deaths of kin and friends…may those that perished forever rest in peace. But as those of us who survived continue to grapple with the reality that our ways of living have changed perhaps for the immediate future–perhaps forever, that we continue to pray for our fellow Americans who are placing themselves and their families at risk to both combat the disease and to ensure that our economy does not slip into a recesssion–or a depression. To that end, lest we forget a critically important Scripture that honors those who have perished and those risking it all daily, which comes from the Gospel of John: Chapter 15, verse 13, which reads, “Greater love hath no man (or woman) than this, that a man (or woman) lay down his (or her) life for their friends.”


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