There’s a sign in my building’s elevator reminding residents that today, May 5, is #protectallworkers day, a shout-out to the front line people, beyond medical workers, who are keeping us functioning, one day at a time. Each night at 7pm there is a cacophony of whoops, hollers, banging pots and ringing bells saluting the nearby hospitals’ staffs.

But today has been identified for the un-cacophonized men and women who are doing meaningful tasks that affect our lives even closer to home. A talented and generous resident of my apartment building put together this awesome poster with photos of our beloved staff leaving lots of room, not to mention a cup full of Sharpies, for each of us to express our deep gratitude. I know that our common areas–lobby, laundry room and hallways –  are being meticulously sanitized multiple times a day. That our coöp is kept apprised via posted notices of new accommodations and restrictions for New Yorkers. And that a caring superintendent, porters and security guards have our well-being as a priority.

I feel safe, cared for, and as germ-contained as is humanly possible given the worldwide crisis we’re living through.

The generosity of my neighbors has been one of the great gifts of this quarantine. Just this week, 1M offered to share their surplus of toilet paper with anyone in need. After using the 1-ply (the only thing available from FoodMart at the time) for the past few weeks, I am delighting in the soft 2-ply rolls I picked up. (TMI?!) We have an apartment-wide Facebook page that keeps us posted on community news, which I’m grateful for.

One of the bright sides of this experience is reveling in personal touches that were easily missed before the pandemic hit. Thoroughly enjoying a long FaceTime conversation with my college buddy this morning, receiving a hand-written letter in the mail with a stamp (!) from a new friend, or sharing time in the park with a young couple I love on Sunday are filling a cup inside me that I hadn’t realized was so close to empty.

I’m deeply grateful for the people in my life. This quarantine has highlighted the value of my relationships. I’m glad that someone came up with a day to claim that gratitude so I could have a theme for today’s post. #protectallworkers

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