The Cost of Comfort: Stories of Sacrifice in our Community During COVID-19

Part 1: City Electric and Gas Utility
For Electric Utility Engineering/Operations Manager Alan Gale, new additions to office equipment included a mask and an air mattress. Photo courtesy of Alex Workman.

Perspective is important. We are living in a changing and growing world and we are often looking at it through our own lens, but what would happen if we took the time to see life from another point of view? What would happen if we realized that there’s more to the world than only what we see or believe? We want to share the stories of people in our community who had to handle COVID-19 in a way that required sacrifice of their time and their comfort. Because perspective is important. 

In the middle of March, when the United States, and more specifically Florida, started to shut down, most of us panicked a little. Will I still have a job? How do I homeschool three kids at the same time? When will this end? Will I get sick? Suddenly, our routines went out the window, and we had to adjust. Eventually, we settled into a bit of normal chaos and went on with our lives within the walls of our homes. We were inconvenienced, but we were mostly inconvenienced in a comfortable and safe way. But there were some in our community that didn’t have that luxury — they sacrificed comfort and convenience so that we could continue to be comfortable. Here are their stories: 

Part 1: City Electric and Gas Utility

Quarantine means something different to everyone. Many of us have been staying home to work remotely or going to work and then coming home again each night. But what if the power went out? What if there was an issue that needed immediate attention? What if we were stuck at home with no power, not being able to leave because we’ve been directed to stay at home? Thankfully, the City of Tallahassee thought about that before any of us ever had to.

For the City of Tallahassee’s Electric and Gas Utility, protecting the health of employees was crucial to ensure seamless services. Utility workers were divided into two groups. While one group slept on-site in their offices or one of the dozens of rented RVs provided by the city, the other sheltered in place at home. After a week, the teams swapped roles. This helped reduce the risk of someone contracting the virus and spreading it amongst the team. While we were home and comfortable, they sacrificed to keep us that way.

Their sacrifice — being away from their families and spending their spare time sheltered in place — gave the citizens of Tallahassee one less thing to worry about. Their sacrifice will continue every time there’s a natural disaster or emergency. So the next time you are stuck at home, remember the people that sacrifice every day to make sure we’re comfortable.

Categories: Our City