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“Come gather round people wherever you roam/And admit that the waters around you have grown.” —Bob Dylan

For the first few days of the coronavirus crisis, I was in a mild state of shock, and I dealt with the stress mostly by cracking jokes. Yesterday, though, the cobwebs in my head cleared, and here’s what I expect in the coming weeks.

Doctors and nurses are on the front lines of this pandemic and they’ll rightly be called heroes, but we working people—plumbers, electricians, roofers, heating guys, exterminators and so on—will be the unsung army that keeps the water flowing, the heat blowing, and the lights glowing. Just as importantly, we’ll keep rodents and ants out of your stored foods.

We home care professionals are set to be a vital link to the outside world for many homebound people. Personally, I won’t use this opportunity to point the finger of blame or ride the high horse. This COVID-19 crisis is unique in world history, it’s evolving every day, and hindsight is 20/20. True professionals—especially during times of crisis—avoid pettiness and stay focused on the fact that every human being on earth, one way or the other, is soon to suffer.

We skilled working people—masters at innovation and adaption—need to quickly adapt to the new world that’s forming in front of our eyes. We keep the wheels of life spinning, regardless of what’s happening in the world outside our work trucks. I’m happy to be a simple working man.

The word “hero” is overused, but these days, when no superstar athletes are sinking three-pointers or hitting home runs, I’m willing to use that word to describe the guy who hurries to my home and unclogs my toilet or fixes my leaky roof. As for you professional athletes, sitting idle on the sidelines… no offense guys, but, to paraphrase Bob Dylan, “Please get out of the way if you can’t lend your hand/Cause the heroes they are a-changing.

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