After a record-setting 35-day furlough, the 800,000 federal employees affected by the partial government shutdown were able to officially return to work on Monday. The stopgap measure only lasts until February 15, when we could see the whole debacle begin again. (Here are some suggestions and resources for managing finances through and after a furlough.) The devastation to our environment while parks were shut down has also been tremendous.
But through the 5-week national breath-holding and hand-wringing and finger-pointing, we saw so many heroic measures. We saw neighbors looking out for each other. We saw people stepping up.
To the employees who went to work without pay to keep us safe, thank you.
To the employees who weren’t allowed to go to work and stayed home wanting nothing more than to do their jobs, thank you.
To the employees who had to take out loans, or take temporary work to make ends meet, thank you.
To the companies and individuals who stepped up to feed, to pay, to shelter, to encourage, thank you.
To the kids who pitched in to help their parents who were furloughed, thank you.
Rest, people. This reprieve may be temporary. Let’s keep taking care of each other.