Have you ever watched the Blue Bloods TV program?  

    I have, more than a few times, especially now with the pandemic and the stay-at-home directives that lure you into watching all the re-runs of all the shows that you have seen many times before.

    As the Blue Bloods program goes, one of the scenes scans hundreds, maybe a thousand multiple story buildings for as far as the camera can see. With that scene on the screen I find myself wondering who occupies those buildings? Are they just a workplace? Or do people live there? Maybe some of both.

    As I wonder, questions crop up in my mind about how the street layout was determined.

    Then, there are the questions about the electric power, the storm and sanitary sewer systems, and about the water service needed to serve the area. Also about where the people who work and/or live there get their groceries and about where the garbage ends up. And about schools for the kids, where do the kids play? How about the services and protections provided by the police and fire departments?

    All of it comes together somehow.

    The same could be said about this country’s fight to contain the COVID-19 problem. Many people are working in many different ways. Somehow, it all comes together.

    Key people include, of course, those wonderful nurses and doctors who are the heroes on the frontline. And there are so many others, who have important and specific roles in the fight beginning with those who perform the COVID-19 tests in the field. Others work the checkouts in the grocery stores while their cohorts try to keep shelves as full as possible.

    There are also all of those who have some other role in trying to keep us safe like the church ladies and others who have taken on the role of sewing the masks that we wear.

    As I consider the roles of Polk County employees — those in public health, law enforcement, emergency management, dispatchers, and in other areas involved with services and safety — and of so many others in local and state government, I see people coming to the front in many ways. They respond and do what needs to be done regardless of the personal risks.

    That’s always been the American way.

    Each of us has a part in the effort to control and finally end the spread of this disease that has crippled normal life and put a big dent in our economy. But as many have said, we will win this fight and come out stronger at the end because of it.

    However, with all of the restrictions in place, my patience is being tested. A major upturn is needed to eliminate any need to watch another Blue Bloods, or the many game shows, the ongoing news programs, the Chicago PDs, Chicago Fires, and, worst of all, those old sit-coms where every line is followed by a burst of canned laughter… that coming without having anything at all to do with being funny.

    Those of us who are mostly on the sideline need to pledge our support in every way possible and to get out of the way for those who are at the front as we wait for a vaccine to be developed.

    And we need to do all that we can to keep our American heroes at the front from running out of gas. There are so many of them. God bless them all.

    Thoughts expressed in this column are those of the author and are not necessarily a reflection of the opinions of the other members of the Polk County Board of Commissioners.