Reflections on Gratitude, Heroism and Fear During the Pandemic

Shelly Brick, Weavers Way Chestnut Hill Deli Staff

Today at work, a shopper whom I have become friendly with came to the deli. The first words out of his mouth were, “I am so glad to see you and that you are well. Thank you for what you are doing.”

Many of us have been fortunate to hear these or similar expressions of gratitude from our shoppers. I was humbled, because this shopper is an emergency room doctor at Jefferson Hospital in Center City and he was thanking me, really all of us, for being a part of the response to COVID-19.

I don’t think of myself as a heroine. I am actually embarrassed when I hear that I, as a grocery store worker, am mentioned in the same category as doctors, nurses, first responders, law enforcement and outreach workers, who are the actual frontline in this pandemic.

Still, I feel that we are providing an essential service. I am grateful to have the opportunity to work; it’s a gift that helps me keep my fear at bay. Every day, I witness acts of kindness by and for the Weavers Way “family.” I am proud to do what I can as we travel these uncharted waters.

My hope is that when this has passed, and it will, we carry the best of humanity we see around us every day and commit to kindness, compassion and love.