Enough with the pan beating, horn blowing, screaming at 8 p.m.

john ater
3 min readDec 20, 2020

At 8 p.m. tonight, as happens every night in our neighborhood since the beginning of this shit show, people started banging on pots, blowing horns, yelling, whistling, clapping, for the front line workers, the ambulance drivers, the nurses, the doctors, the hospital personnel who are fighting this pandemic in spite of their exhaustion. Commendable that we should applaud them.

photo by Nicholas Morris

However, they are too busy, too far away, too exhausted and too shielded by hospital walls and the sounds of their sirens to hear us, far too busy saving our lives to take note.

So, all that cacophony is an exercise to make US feel better.

Without thinking, we overlook the delivery folks we see everyday, the ones who deliver our groceries, bring us our take out, deliver our packages. These are the folks who have stepped up into this chaotic void of a pandemic to make sure we get what we need to live one more day. If we are to celebrate anyone, these are the folks we need to celebrate every day.

This story is what one town did for their UPS driver, a man they saw on a daily basis who is still making his deliveries at this moment, I would guess. Those folk recognized and celebrate him for showing up every day for a job that is tough job on regular days never mind this time of year and under incredibly dangerous conditions. He and all the rest of us find ourselves entombed in circumstances beyond our comprehension and, every day, he loads his truck and puts himself in harm’s way for his customers. Not only did these folks recognize his efforts on their behalf, they showed their appreciation and love for him.

So, enough with the noisemakers and screaming and yelling so we can pat ourselves on the backs that we have DONE something. Instead, make the effort to recognize the everyday workers who show up at our doors to make sure we get the things we need to survive one more day. When we see them, ask how they are. Tell them, “Thank you and be safe.”

john ater

author / street photographer / writer / editor / iconoclast / anarchist