Rep. Llew Jones

During a Pandemic Medical Emergency, when Government Health Officials tell you to stop doing your job, then you stop. 

You close your bar. You close your school. You close your convention center. You cancel your public event.

And everyone that was employed by the entity that was doing that job, or was assisting in that job, is out of work. For those whose work stopped, the future is uncertain, and there is fear as to what the future holds. And we need to help them. I have been aggressively engaged in unemployment and other tools to help here.

But for most of us, no one has told us to stop doing our job. No one has told us to stop doing our work. 

We have been asked to consider doing our work differently. To make choices about how we do our work. But we are still expected to do our job. Maybe with “social distancing and increased awareness”, maybe working from home, maybe with doing more business over the phone, but our jobs and our continued work are the basis for Montana’s recovery and our children’s future. 

Your employer is still expecting to pay you. And your customers and clients are still expecting you to deliver needed products and services.

For MOST of us, critical work still needs to be done.

So, perhaps the best thing to do, in a situation like this, is to keep doing your job. Figure out how to keep doing your work.

The WAY that you do your work may be a little more challenging. You may have to get creative in HOW you safely do your job with COVID-19 and modify the process or the tools you use to do it, but if the job needs doing, then keep doing it.

Maybe the best thing you can do is stay calm and keep doing your job.

•If you make toilet paper, keep making toilet paper. 

•If you haul toilet paper to the stores, keep driving the truck.

•If you stock the shelves at the store, keep stocking.

•If you grow food, keep growing.

•If you repair pickups, 4-wheelers, and tractors, keep repairing.

•If you raise beef, keep raising. No one told the cows to stop calving.

•If you provide healthcare, keep providing.

•If you teach, keep teaching.

Don’t worry about the choices that the President, or the State Health Officer, or the School Superintendent must make. 

Don’t let yourself be distracted….by the media, by the gossip, or by the uniformed chatter of the Facebook echo-chamber.

Instead focus on your OWN choices. Make good, sensible safe choices.

Be flexible. Learn new ways to do your work, and to make yourself more valuable. In this way you help yourself, your community, and your state.

Keep doing your work. And improve yourself so that you get better at it. And thus, can help those that are not working.

Because there is a chance that things could be vastly different in the future, and you will be glad that you chose to make the sensible choice of becoming more flexible, of learning new ways to be productive, and finding a way to be more valuable to your customers, your employer, your co-workers, and your community.

Thankfully, most of us that have something very beneficial we can do during this crisis. 

And, thankfully, the Montana spirit is strong, so we will find a way to keep working, keep laughing, keep living, keep loving, and keep on being the best of people. 

Thank you for what you do and who you are.

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