We have each other's back
Typically, and interestingly, bad things have good things about them. The corona virus outbreak proves it; and it does so especially for us in the trucking industry.
So, how do you mean, you might ask yourself. People are scared and some are getting sick; people even die. Or what about the businesses that have closed, work that has disappeared, freight rates that are dropping or what about shippers and receivers who are closing their buildings and washrooms to us drivers?
Let me explain. First off, everybody seems to have a new-found appreciation for trucks and what those actually mean to all of us. The empty shelves in stores and supermarkets we have been seeing, have spoken their part. We have all been all looking for toilet paper, hand sanitizer and canned food. Or for eggs and baking products. Filled store shelves aren't something to be taken for granted; without transportation, they stay empty.
Outbreak turns into outreach
In addition, despite mandatory social distance, this outbreak brings people together. And we in the trucking industry are among the first to notice it. People and organizations have taken it upon themselves to reach out to us truck drivers.
Take the lady who runs the Glenholme Loop Petro Pass Restaurant in Nova Scotia for example. She hands out free meals to us. I haven't been up that way myself recently, but I think it is fantastic. She rules. And look at the donations she has received from other businesses who support her and what she is doing. Isn't it just amazing?
Thank you truckers
Other truck stops in the Maritimes like the Irving Big Stops have started handing out free breakfasts. But there are hotels too, like a Best Western hotel in Dartmouth, that has made rooms available for us for thirty minutes to take a shower. Peterbilt Atlantic have opened up their locations to us as well, just to name another one.
Or what about the 'thank you truckers' signs that have popped up along the highways, or the thank you posts on social media. Facebook and the likes have actually become social platforms, in the truest meaning of the word social.
The good news continues
I can continue with the good news. Because our jobs continue, as opposed to those of many - whom I feel terrible for. Our incomes keep coming in and we can continue to pay our bills and feed our families.
Or what about the empty roads? It sure makes for easier - and safer - driving, doesn't it? Also, the border with the US stays open to us for now. We can keep going back and forth, making sure essential goods keep coming into the country. Speaking of countries, similar upheaval is seen all over the world, including my native Holland, where trucking is also showing how totally essential a role it plays.
We have our backs together
I am 43 years old now; I have only lived in Canada for two and a half years and I have never experienced anything like this in my life. I will say, though, I am happy to be in this country, in Canada, even though here too people are getting sick and here too there is an actual and shocking death toll. Not to mention all the fear and anxiety many of us here in Canada are currently feeling and experiencing. Yet, we're in this together. Canadians have our backs and the trucking industry has Canada's back too. As a truck driver and a new Canadian, I'm proud to be a part of it.