During a crisis, we’re often blessed with too many heroes to count.
During the coronavirus pandemic, our healthcare professionals certainly deserve appreciation for putting themselves in harm's way by treating people infected by the virus. Civic leaders deserve credit for trying to keep their communities safe during this troublesome time.
But they're certainly not the only ones. Given the important nature of water service during this pandemic, water professionals are no less valuable.
Consider that the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) first piece of advice to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, after blowing your nose or coughing or sneezing. If you think about how frequently we do those things, that amounts to a lot of water. Without safe water at the tap, this simple but important step to protect ourselves wouldn't be possible. Neither would it be possible to flush our toilets, which is another everyday action that prevents waterborne disease in our communities.
AWWA President Jim Williams put it nicely in a recent letter to water professionals: “You’ve heard me before reference the water profession as a ‘vocation of distinction’. In these difficult times, it is also a vocation of heroism.” Water professionals “are a quiet army protecting our communities” and are “essential in keeping our communities safe and healthy”.