Michael W. Thomas
May 1, 2020

The Essential Ones

The concept of an essential worker has been front and center throughout this crisis and to think, this was their lot in life prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. They are usually invisible or in harsher terms dismissed, judged and written off.

Another passion of mine is reading and I completed reading “The Working Poor” by David K Shipler in March.


I highly recommend you read this book and know it will reveal things that you probably never gave thought to.

The concept of an essential worker has been front and center throughout this crisis.

And to think, this was their lot in life prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. They are usually invisible or in harsher terms dismissed, judged and written off.


My street photography has focused on people that most never give a second thought about their stories.


All along many of us go about our day thinking the most essential people are reflected in our mirrors and always in our minds.


This is nothing new to ponder, it has always been that way. The less fortunate as the foundational builders of our perceived necessities, the people who perform the multi leveled menial work.


A major theme of my photography is capturing their images, hoping that through my lens you will look up and around acknowledging their presence and contributions.

Mostly coming to grips that it could be any of us.


Essential Equality is being revealed to us; to be restricted, contained, afraid and constantly stressed.

To be near the edge of financial devastation and the luxuries whatever they are slowly diminish.


The essential people feel the brunt of this current crisis mainly though  living from paycheck to paycheck in their menial jobs only to find that they have also lost those jobs. The loss of their jobs and the possible loss of their lives clinging to those jobs out in harm's way of Covid-19. Wait, it gets better, usually without medical insurance to kick in if they get ill.


Everyday you read about the new normal, of working remotely, having web conferencing meetings, and having to parent, to clean, to cook.

The less fortunate if they still have work cannot work remotely, who's there to make sure their children are receiving education from home, at times without access to the internet or laptops so the chasm deepens, the wealth gap expands.


Some of us have read these stories before, most have not because it was not taught to you to pass inequities of education, generational wealth, healthy diets and more.


This is NOT the country of opportunity for all, it really never has been but the stories and history taught have by design left out the people who really did the work in free labor and lower wages. 


Just wanted to point out the other side and think of many who are now in a dire situation to ponder and work through.


Have you heard about my
Scrapbook Scanning Services?

Drag those boxes of photos out of storage and have them digitally preserved for sharing and save keeping - all at an affordable, convenient rate.