The Essentials

“The Essentials” is about a disease ravages the country, causing the states to create a law forcing all Non-Essential people to stay home to work and attend school. However, the world must continue to run so the government creates a new class of workers: The Essentials.

Bartholomew Kinsey is one of these workers. The story follows him as he works through his shift as a Grocery Pickup & Delivery Technician, dealing with the mental stress of social isolation, questioning the government’s actions, and unsure of the medical community and the drug companies working to cure the disease.

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I drive away from my apartment complex and join the other Essentials on the road. Some drive in their personal vehicles while others drive their employers’ cars, vans, or trucks. All of the vehicles feature the bright red placard.

I listen to the local news over the radio as I drive to work. I don’t know why I do this as all the local news stations discuss is the disease. They constantly pour over the number of infected, the number of deaths, and reiterate that Non-Essentials should stay home as it is dangerous to venture outside. I really should listen to music instead. Yet, my love for music has waned since the start of this stupid disease.

Eventually I reach my work campus, stopping before the gate. I remove my badge from my coveralls as I roll down the window. Outside, I wave my badge before the badge reader and the gate opens. I reattach my badge to my uniform as I drive slowly into the parking lot. After parking my car, I cease the engine, and exit.

I walk toward my employer’s work trucks, heading toward my designated truck. I drive the same truck each day of my shift, and do not share the truck with another Essential. This is to prevent the spread of the disease. Also, all of the trucks are disinfected inside and out everyday by the cleaning crew.

What Made Me Write The Essentials?

I was an essential worker throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic, and my brother and mother were too. We went out to work everyday to do the work and the tasks to keep our part of the world going, just like millions of others.

I wrote this short story with a mixture of my personal experience of being an essential worker and what I saw from others. And I had to include the experiences of the “non-essential” workers or those working fully from home. Thus, this short story is full of different sides. My objective was to show how complicated life was during the pandemic for everyone. Many people lost their jobs and had to find others if they could. While other people had to change their physical lives to one a fully virtual one. That is an experiment that we don’t know what the future outcome will be.

Where Can You Find This Story?

You can download a sample of the short story below (in PDF format). The full story is in the “Seven Short Stories” collection on Amazon for $2.99.