This holiday season, we have more reason than ever to be thankful for the front-line workers who are providing essential services in Greater Des Moines. To our health care workers, first responders, teachers, grocers, retail, restaurant, utility workers and others who are sacrificing so much: thank you.

Your efforts are crucial to keeping our community safe and healthy. Our hospital networks, including MercyOne Des Moines, UnityPoint Health-Des Moines, Broadlawns Medical Center,  the VA Central Iowa Health Care System and our other health care providers throughout our 10-county region have been leaders in serving patients and continuing to educate our community on best practices to mitigate the virus’s spread. As we are hearing from leaders in the industry, our health care workers are exhausted after more than nine months of fighting the pandemic, and more challenging months ahead. 

Likewise, we know so many employees of front-line businesses are consistently pivoting to the latest CDC guidelines as well as state and local mandates, and teachers are going the extra mile to help their students, whether it be providing a safe classroom environment or working with students virtually. 

We know that our words are not enough to make this situation better, but we hope you know that we appreciate you fighting for us every day. We see you, and we know how important you are to our community.

This is the time to think about the sacrifice front-line workers are making for all of us and return the favor. We encourage DSM residents to take the following steps:
#MaskUpDSM to help limit the spread.
Maintain social distancing.
Wash your hands often.
Get a flu vaccine if you have not already done so.
Consider limiting your holiday gathering plans.
Get the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.
And if you know a front-line worker, make sure to tell them thank you.

Thank you for all in Greater Des Moines who have collaboratively worked to get through this pandemic. With the latest vaccine news, there is reason to be thankful and optimistic for the future, but we must continue to be diligent in the present. Our region, state and nation are relying on it. Our health care system and the dedicated people who work in it are relying on all of us to do our part to stop the spread. Our front-line workers in all areas are doing their part to make sure our society continues to function even during the pandemic. Let’s thank our front-line workers with our actions as well as words.