I see my father in the faces of all the workers who do essential jobs despite the dangers

My father would have been like many of the men and women today who have had to continue to work despite their fears of getting sick.

SHARE I see my father in the faces of all the workers who do essential jobs despite the dangers

This sign was posted outside Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.

Cindy Ord/Getty Images

My father was a factory worker his entire life, a hard-working and loyal employee at every single job he held. He passed away a long time ago, but I’ve thought about him a lot more during the coronavirus pandemic.

Would my father have been one of the essential workers who was required to work on an assembly line in close proximity to others? Would he have been given personal protective equipment?


John Golec, the late father of Gloria Golec

Photo provided by Gloria Golec

One thing I know for certain is my father would have shown up at work no matter what.

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My father would have been like many of the men and women today who have had to continue to work despite their fears of getting sick. My father needed the money, and he also would have worried about getting laid off. My father was reliable and would have been on the job because that was what he did. He showed up. He took pride in his work and felt it was his duty to earn money for his family.

I could imagine that my mother, brother and I would worrying about the choice my father might have had to make between jeopardizing his job and risking getting sick.

My father spent a large part of his life working at the Ford Motor Company plant on Pulaski Road on Chicago’s South Side, where he rose to foreman. During World War II, he was not drafted because Ford made airplane parts for bombers. I’ve thought about him contributing to the war effort, and about how during this pandemic he might be making face masks or some other form of protection.

As I think about my father, I know for certain that like many others in America, he would have gone to work and done the best job he could. I see my father in the faces of the grocery store workers, the mail carriers, the newspaper deliveryman, the health care workers who risk their lives every day but go to work anyway and many, many others. These are people who remind me of my dad, the people who make the sacrifice to do their job no matter what.

I thank them for their work and for bringing back memories of a father so dearly loved but never forgotten.

Gloria Golec, Glen Ellyn

An ovation for the theater

We want to recognize the theater community during these difficult times.

Going to the theater is such a wonderful cultural experience, especially in Chicago. Seeing all the theater marquees here go dark is the cruel reality of what the coronavirus pandemic has done to the theater community around the globe.

The American economy is slowly reopening, but the doors of theaters remain shut. With no start date in sight, the entire theater community is anxious about its uncertain future.

We hear every day on the news how restaurants are working at 50% capacity and struggling. That is terrible, and I recognize their struggle. But let’s not forget that theaters remain totally shut down! This is emotionally and financially devastating to everyone who works in the industry, including performers, musicians, stage management, backstage technicians, ticket agents and house management.

The arts and entertainment sector of the American economy is responsible for more than 4 million jobs, $877 billion in value, comprising 4.5% of the U.S. gross domestic product.

Theater has endured through difficult periods in history, and it will prove its resilience once more. When the curtain goes up again, we hope we see every auditorium full.

Remember: The show must go on!

Charlie and Maureen Reilly, Palos Park

License mayors, too

Now there’s silly talk about licensing police officers in Illinois so that their licenses can be revoked if they break the law in the course of their duties. Well, the police already basically are licensed in the form of their law enforcement certificate, which is kept on file with the state training board.

If you’re going to license the police, you might as well do it across the board. You should also then license firefighters, mayors, city officials and — especially — Chicago aldermen, who have been guilty of so much corruption.

And if a mayor or the governor does wrong, you revoke their license.

Fair is fair.

John Moravecek, Naperville

GOP runs from real injustice

In her column from Friday, Mona Charen discusses America’s long delayed acknowledgement of the racist policing that black people face and where the acceptance of this “leaves the Republican Party.”

It leaves them wherever we store our hypocrites.

Republicans cry “repression” and “government overreach” at the drop of a hat. They complain about losing their “freedom” to get a haircut — or to discriminate against gays or to limit the healthcare options of female employees. But when actual repression happens, they show themselves as not caring at all.

The reality is that if you find yourself being repressed by the government — if you find your actual life or liberty being threatened — the group most often doing this will be your local police force. Republicans time and time again show they could not care less.

Don Anderson, Oak Park

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