Photo Essay: Minnesota’s Frontline Workers

From stocking shelves to testing folks for COVID-19, those on the front lines take risks for our comfort and care
Because salons and barbershops have been off limits, Excelsior Firefighter Thom Brown received his first trim in 8 weeks from administrative assistant Ana Faturri.
Because salons and barbershops have been off limits, Excelsior Firefighter Thom Brown received his first trim in 8 weeks from administrative assistant Ana Faturri.

Photo by James Douglas

Gratitude for frontline workers has become the central paean of the pandemic age. These are the people who show up to work in masks and gloves, wipe down check-out counters, deliver or hand out food, swab suspected COVID-19 carriers at drive-through testing sites, and take on other tasks that put them at risk of contraction.

Photographers like the Twin Cities’ own Katie Howie have responded by documenting mail carriers, nurses, hospitality workers, and others—as you can see in her “By a Thread: Pandemic Portraits” series, featured in the July/August issue of Minnesota Monthly. Expanding on that idea, here are some other portraits of Minnesotans carrying on so that we can, too.

Maple Grove Hy-Vee: Stephen West, food service director; DJ Vega, assistant director
Maple Grove Hy-Vee: Stephen West, food service director; DJ Vega, assistant director

Slade Kemmet Media

WCCO-TV: Normally the sports director, Mike Max hit the streets to cover protests around the Twin Cities.
WCCO-TV: Normally the sports director, Mike Max hit the streets to cover protests around the Twin Cities.
Lunds & Byerlys St. Louis Park: Mae Conlon, cashier
Lunds & Byerlys St. Louis Park: Mae Conlon, cashier

Provided

 D’Amico Catering employee Steve Gow cooked meals for individuals in need at D’Amico Catering’s kitchen at Edinburgh USA golf course in Brooklyn Park—they produced 1,000 meals weekly for YMCA locations.
D’Amico Catering employee Steve Gow cooked meals for individuals in need at D’Amico Catering’s kitchen at Edinburgh USA golf course in Brooklyn Park—they produced 1,000 meals weekly for YMCA locations.

Photo by Will Greiner

Greater Minneapolis Community Connections partnered with Darul Hadiith and the MN Somali Covid-19 Task Force to fill critical food and healthcare gaps in East African communities.
Greater Minneapolis Community Connections partnered with Darul Hadiith and the MN Somali Covid-19 Task Force to fill critical food and healthcare gaps in East African communities.

Provided

M Health Fairview: Alex Leal, a health unit coordinator at Bethesda Hospital
M Health Fairview: Alex Leal, a health unit coordinator at Bethesda Hospital

Provided

James Burroughs, Children’s chief equity and inclusion officer, recently gave a presentation called “The Impact of Social Injustice on Community Health: The Death of George Floyd and Racial Trauma.” He also spoke on KMOJ 89.9 FM about how COVID-19 is magnifying health inequities.
James Burroughs, Children’s chief equity and inclusion officer, recently gave a presentation called “The Impact of Social Injustice on Community Health: The Death of George Floyd and Racial Trauma.” He also spoke on KMOJ 89.9 FM about how COVID-19 is magnifying health inequities.

Provided

Hennepin Healthcare: Jamie Hartung, CRNA, prepared anesthetic plans before a COVID-19 positive trauma patient arrived.
Hennepin Healthcare: Jamie Hartung, CRNA, prepared anesthetic plans before a COVID-19 positive trauma patient arrived.

Photo by Alvin Sangma Photography

Hennepin EMS: John Sylvester, paramedic
Hennepin EMS: John Sylvester, paramedic

Provided

M Health Fairview’s “Caregiver Smiles” project encourages medical professionals to carry around pictures of themselves smiling.
M Health Fairview’s “Caregiver Smiles” project encourages medical professionals to carry around pictures
of themselves smiling.

Provided

CentraCare Health: Woon Ho Paek, RN, at St. Cloud Hospital’s ICU
CentraCare Health: Woon Ho Paek, RN, at St. Cloud Hospital’s ICU

Provided

CentraCare Health: Melanie West, nursing assistant at St. Cloud Hospital’s ICU
CentraCare Health: Melanie West, nursing assistant at St. Cloud Hospital’s ICU

Provided

Hennepin Healthcare: Medical Technologist Khadel King with samples to be tested for COVID-19 in Hennepin Healthcare’s microbiology lab.
Hennepin Healthcare: Medical Technologist Khadel King with samples to be tested for COVID-19 in Hennepin Healthcare’s microbiology lab.

Provided

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