5. The Essential Workers

Along with doctors, nurses, and first responders, COVID’s media “heroes” included an unlikely and previously unheralded group, the “essential workers” – custodians, supermarket employees, delivery drivers, and other solidly blue-collar, often underpaid and under-respected men and women who all of a sudden seemed to be the only ones holding society together. What has this sudden spotlight revealed about the nature of work in America and what we do and don’t value and why? Charles Scott, Director of Facilities at the CUNY Graduate Center and John Krinsky, Professor of Political Science at City College weigh in on what was, what is, and what should be in the future.