Record editorial: Pandemic has elevated our appreciation for Park City’s workers
It will be the Miners Day that wasn’t.
On Monday, Parkites won’t flock to Old Town for the annual Main Street parade. The mucking and drilling competition — that beloved spectacle that keeps us tethered to the past and offers a glimpse of a time when mining, not skiing, drove Park City’s economy — will not take place, nor will the other festivities typically held at City Park throughout the day.
Another tradition the coronavirus pandemic has stripped from the summer.
And yet: Perhaps at no time in the recent past has the spirit of Miners Day, in which we celebrate the laborers who built the town, been so apparent.
This Miners Day, we are looking at the Parkites who have carried on the legacy of the miners — the restaurant waitstaff, the grocery store clerks, the lifties and countless others — through the lens of the pandemic.
When the crisis hit in March, the lives of everyone in Park City changed in one way or another. But it was people in the working class, by and large, who have suffered the most.
They’ve seen their wages slashed or their jobs disappear. They’ve spent sleepless nights wondering how they are going to keep their children fed and clothed. They’re living, many of them, with the looming threat of eviction as unpaid mortage or rent payments pile up month after month.
That’s to say nothing of the fact that many have been thrust onto the front lines of the pandemic, working jobs that were deemed “essential” or that require frequent contact with other people.
Unfortunately, Park City’s workers will continue to face challenges as we enter the fall and winter. Even when the health risks of the coronavirus diminish — perhaps if a vaccine becomes widely available in the next several months — the economic effects of the pandemic are likely to linger, possibly for years.
Like the miners of old, our workers are the backbone of Park City. The community must rally around them and help them weather these difficult times.
This Miners Day, we’ll go without most of the traditions that make the holiday beloved in Park City. It’s disappointing, no doubt, and hopefully next September we will gather again to wave as parade floats saunter down Main Street and to cheer on the participants of the mucking and drilling contest.
But the absence of the celebrations on Monday won’t stop us of from observing the true meaning of the holiday: expressing gratitude for the workers whose sweat and sacrifice make Park City what it is.
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