When a Loved One is an Essential Employee during COVID-19

Updated: May 18, 2020

During this time, many people are told to “shelter in place”, but there are others who are considered “essential employees” and need to go to work. What happens when a loved one is an essential employee? In some cases, the essential employee is living in the same house as you are or the front-line worker may be an adult living on their own. Regardless, the concern, worry and trepidation are there.

You wake up in the morning, thinking about them as they dress and prepare for work. You might even whisper a prayer for them. During the day, your mind might drift to wondering how their work is going. Your loved one may be responsible and practice good guidelines, but what about their co-workers? What about the workplace itself? Is it clean and disinfected when needed? Are sanitizers available? Do others where masks? For that matter, does my loved one wear a mask at all times? What about taking the mask off to eat lunch or during breaks? You wonder about your loved one’s mental well being as the days continue with the threats of COVID-19. And you end your day with prayer before bed, your essential loved one at the forefront.

The bottom line is that we have a fear of losing the loved one. It is a projection of the possibility of losing our special person. It evokes the emotions of grief, sadness and anxiety. And if we are staying at home, we have lots of time to think about all of this.

One of the best things that we can do for our beloved essential employee is to find ways to show that we love them. Connect through social media opportunities to “lay eyes on them”. Do "see" them you can use social media such as Zoom or Facetime. Mail them packages with special treats---even if they live in the same town. Look for motivational and uplifting passages. Make posters for their bedroom or their front lawn. Most of all tell them how much you love them! Tell them how proud you are of them. Maybe, just maybe, your words will help carry them through the day.

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