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A Hot Look at Essential Workers on Labor Day 2020: MANCANDY

The first Monday of September is our national holiday, set aside by Congress in 1894, to recognize the contributions and achievements of America’s labor movement and trade unions. This year, the coronavirus pandemic has made us dramatically re-evaluate and rethink our relationship to “everyday” working stiffs and health care “workers” once taken for granted.  As suddenly as covid19 shutdown the country, these workers and caregivers were raised up as essential and heroic.


The economic crash caused by the inept US response to pandemic has decimated countless industries causing record setting unemployment and ruination of untold small businesses and jobs that will never return.  But even for the essential workers and the health care heroes the toll on them has been immeasurable and will continue to be until, America is under new management, follows the science, and gets the virus under control.


It’s been an unexpected and unbelievably difficult year for all of us in almost every way imaginable, and it ain’t over til it’s over.  But since it’s a holiday, theOUTfront thought we’d could all use a break and enjoy these essential heroes, before getting back to work making our world a better place.

With our world going into lockdown and quarantine, one of the few things we’ve had to look forward to were deliveries.


Former model Anthony Lupi, Photo by Stephen Yang via NY Post

Given the White House’s attempts to destroy our constitutionally mandated United States Postal Service, we thought it only fitting we should show some love to them. #SaveTheUSPS


Speaking of that pathetic excuse for a Commander in Chaos, let’s remember the members of our military who are, were, and always will be essential workers and American heroes.

EMTs, like Joe above, are often on the frontline in the fight against Covid19, answering the calls of the sickest  bringing them to the hospital.

Chad Grabousky, Deaf EMT

In addition to their medical duties, nurses and nursing assistants have become mental, emotional, and end of life support for patients whose loved ones are not alone to be with them.

Doctors always seem to get the glory but in an unprepared health system with an administration ill-equipped to lead and in crisis and procure the basic essential equipment, there was no glory in having to wear trash bags for PPE.



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When I was a child I was told I likely wasn’t going to make it out of this surgery the same. . Whether that meant complications, permanent deficits, or the possibility of death was nothing more than uncertainty of the procedure and the risks associated with medicine. . As I continue my path towards becoming a physician I have learned that despite innovations things STILL DO HAPPEN. Things we cannot foresee. Things we cannot prevent. When I was a child I was scared of the hospital. Every CT, MRI, and new specialist I would go to for preparation of my surgery all telling me how unlikely things are to go smoothly scared me. . It wasn’t until the lead surgeon saw me crying before my surgery stopped everything, and asked “Derek what do you want to be when you grow up?” To which I replied: “a firefighter… but I like math so maybe I will be an engineer like my uncle, or a businessman like my father.” . He then asked oh not a doctor? . I replied, maybe I dont know much about being a doctor! . And he replied back “we will talk more about it when you wake up, I will see you in a little bit” . Hours of very tedious work went by, by a team of specialty surgeons that successfully saved my life against all odds. When I woke up my family and the Doctor was in the room. He said “I told you I would see you when you woke up” he hadn’t slept yet, he stayed by my bedside until I awoke. . . He made a promise to me that he would be there when I woke up and he was. And ever since that day I made a promise to him that I would do that exact same thing for someone else. I will be a doctor. The way the doctors treated me as a human, and the way they prioritized how I felt, is the only thing that can make any patient feel like their voices are heard. Understanding that means understanding them and that patient physician relationship can effect those more than you would think.

A post shared by Derek Nicolas (@dereknicolas8) on


During the darkest days of pandemic these two doctors went viral with their duet of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”  It’s worth a second listen to imagine our world post pandemic and in harmony once again.


(Main photo: US Navy Sailor)

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