Optimism and Positivity During a Pandemic

To date the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has hit every state in the nation and most countries in the world. The total number confirmed cases in the world is close to 2 million as of April 14 with the US leading in that tally with 582,632, more than triple the total of Spain with the second most cases. While the death toll currently stands at roughly 120,000 in mid April, it continues to rise on a daily basis. Idaho currently (as of April 14) has 1,453 cases and 33 deaths associated. With so much worry and unknown, it is hard to be optimistic, but the trucking industry is proof that there is still a lot of good happening in the world, and we would be remis not to focus on that at this difficult time.

Global Statistics Show Signs of Optimism

• China closed down its last coronavirus hospital because the number of new cases has fallen so low. • Of 80,000 people sick from COVID-19 in China, more than 70% have recovered and been discharged from hospitals. • Doctors in India, France, and the US have been successfully treating COVID-19 with a combination of anti-malarial and other drugs. • Researchers of the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam claim to have found an antibody against COVID-19. • A 103-year-old Chinese grandmother has made a full recovery from COVID-19 after being treated for 6 days in Wuhan, China. • Apple has reopened all 42 of its stores in China. • Scientists in China have figured out how COVID-19 breaks into human cells, which is critical information for creating treatments and vaccines. • A Cleveland medical center has developed a COVID-19 test that gives results in 2 hours. • Scientists in Israel are expected to announce the development of a coronavirus vaccine • Meanwhile in the US, vaccination trials are already underway in Seattle • Distilleries across the U.S. are making their own hand sanitizers and giving it away for free • In South Korea, recoveries are beginning to outnumber new cases of infection • A Japanese flu drug has proven effective at treating COVID-19

Help for Our Heroes

If it wasn’t apparent prior, the realization of how important truck drivers are to the livelihood of the nation and the world has become clear. Truckers are our heroes, and the recognition is long overdue. Jennifer Kuntz, VP of D&D trucking feels a pride for her company more than ever before.

It honestly brings tears to my eyes and always has seeing our trucks on the road. Our drivers are simply amazing, and I can’t thank them enough. We have drivers continuing to work and staying out on the road refusing to come home to their families in fear of infecting them. But they also take pride in the contribution they are making. While the job is difficult, it is also rewarding. At D&D we feel a great sense of gratitude and love for a company that is also family. — Jennifer Kuntz, D&D Trucking and Transportation

The Truckers Emergency Assistance Responders in cooperation with REAL Women in Trucking has responded to the demand by asking assistance from state and local agencies as well as distribution centers, truck stops and volunteer groups. The response has been generous with reports on the following:

  1. Portable shower facilities accessible for truck drivers with no fee where none exist like turnpike service plazas or rest areas. The Parks Rest Area along I-40 west of Flagstaff (mile marker 182) and the Christensen Rest Area along I-17 south of Flagstaff (mile maker 324) now offer parking, portable toilets and handwashing stations specifically for truck drivers. Crews have been restriping the parking lots of both rest areas, and portable toilets, handwashing stations and trash bins have been brought in.
  2. Food trucks in rest area/truck stops and distribution center staging areas to serve truck drivers since fast-food chains are closing early and drivers have limited access due to drive-thru requirements and walk-up window restrictions.
  3. Volunteers and even the state police are handing out sack lunches to truck drivers which in some cases include protective personal equipment items including hand sanitizer, a mask, gloves, disinfectant for cleaning the steering wheel and other truck surfaces.
  4. An Iowa scale house open to give out free food and not tickets.
  5. A fridge in a small fleet’s Florida outpost newly stocked with food/goods for drivers heading out over the road in warehouse restocking support efforts.
  6. The head of Minnesota-based Long Haul Trucking bought a week’s worth of CDL Meal fares for all 350 professional drivers who had put in long hours these past weeks to keep freight flowing.
  7. TruckPark has added a telemedicine option to its app that allows drivers to connect on-demand with doctors via text and video, via a partnership with telehealth provider GenieMD. Through the TruckPark app’s Services page, drivers can access the GenieMD network for $49 per use — similar to a co-pay for a doctor’s visit. TruckPark’s telehealth platform access is also obviously available for drivers experiencing symptoms of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
  8. The Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails have formed a partnership with Love’s Travel Stops to deliver free cookies to truck drivers during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. The program, Donations for Drivers, allows individuals and businesses to say thank you by donating boxes of cookies that will be given to drivers at Love’s Travel Stops along I-40 in New Mexico. Donations from the public are being accepted online through April 19 or until supplies run out. Each $5 donation buys one box of cookies that will be delivered to a truck driver stopping for fuel, food or rest at a Love’s Travel Stop.
  9. Truckstop.com announced it is providing one-month’s free access to its Trucktop.com Pro platform to the first 10,000 new customers that sign up in April. The Pro platform offers access to the Truckstop.com loadboard, as well as information on rates averages and the ability to book loads with one click. Likewise, for current customers, the company is offering access to more discounts and offers from Truckstop.com and partners.

Trucks Stops Delivering to the Front Line

As mentioned above, Truck Stops are doing their part as well. Both Pilot Flying J and Love’s have taken extra precautions while going above and beyond to ensure drivers have access to food and fuel services, clean restrooms and showers. They know that the work they are doing is essential to keeping drivers moving in order to keep supplies, medication, and food in the nations stores and pharmacies. They are also doing everything possible to keep drivers and their own team member safe and healthy, understanding how critical truck stops are at this time particularly. Pilot Flying J has also extended supplemental benefits to employees along with Thank You Pay, and free meals.

We sincerely appreciate and admire the dedication, spirit and camaraderie of our team members, and our communities, during this challenging time. Our greatest strength continues to be our incredible people and our commitment to working together. — Jimmy Haslam, CEO Pilot Company

With that appreciating they are also providing the following benefits:

  • Thank You Pay - All store hourly Team Members will be paid an additional $2/hr. This pay is retroactive back to March 19. This special pay will continue through April 29 and applies to regular hours worked as well as overtime hours.
  • Free Meal - Enjoy a free meal on us during every shift (up to $10). Applies to all store Team Members and Pilot fuel drivers, regardless of shift length.
  • Emergency Pay Plan - If a team member is quarantined, he/she will be eligible for up to 14 days of paid time off for recovery. Absences will not be counted, and personal leave will be granted, if needed.
  • Manager Bonus - Managers eligible for quarterly bonuses are guaranteed 100% payout. Q1 bonus payments are being expedited for payment on April 3.

So, it is clear that along with the devastating challenges and tragedies happening in the world today, there is also optimism, hope and proof that we are genuinely all in this together.






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SmartWay Transport PartnerIdaho Private 100 Award WinnerTransportation Intermediaries Association MemberMcleod SoftwareIdaho Trucking Association MemberWomen in Trucking Member