You’re a hero. You’re saving us all. We can’t live without you. Your hair looks amazing today, what kind of conditioner do you use? People who are deemed to be essential workers keep hearing compliments like these since the coronavirus pandemic hit and now they’re posting jokes about it online.

To brighten up your day, Bored Panda has collected some of the most hilarious essential worker memes. Enjoy and remember to upvote your faves! And if you’re an Essential Panda, tell us what life is like for you now in the comments.

Essential employees are healthcare professionals, police officers, firefighters, grocery store employees, fast-food workers, truckers, and every single person who keeps civilization functioning during the quarantine. (Oh, and tax collectors are considered to provide essential services in some places, too.) Bored Panda spoke with Dr. Eddy Ng, the James and Elizabeth Freeman Professor of Management at Bucknell University, about essential workers. Scroll down for our interview with him.

#1

Essential Employees Unite

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Mark
Community Member
6 months ago

Ask most nurses!

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#2

Unsung Heroes Of The Coronapocalypse

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Ljdia
Community Member
6 months ago

Damn, that's right...

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#3

Essentials-Workers-Jokes

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Nicola Roberts
Community Member
6 months ago

True. My sister works as a carer, and she called herself cannon fodder. I'm like you're an essential worker - you're so important! I tell her this while working from home....

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"Although we hear the term 'heroes' being used to describe many essential workers, the term is apt because they perform work that can bring harm to themselves and potentially their families," Dr. Ng said. "Not all heroes are idolized or worshiped, but there is certainly an element of bravery and self sacrifice here. Thus, the term hero is an expression of gratitude by the collective or community who are dependent on these essential workers. Since many of them are not being paid much or don't have a choice but to come to work, the term 'hero' also provides intrinsic motivation and fulfillment for these workers."

The professor added that there's greater recognition of how critically important these workers are now because our health, safety, and survival depends on them. "This gratitude will pass when the pandemic is over and things return to normalcy, thus it is important for us to recognize their contributions now."

#4

Essentials-Workers-Jokes

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kitty_player 03
Community Member
6 months ago

so true!

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#5

Why Would Heros Need Money?

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Mark
Community Member
6 months ago

I know someone who is a nurse, she says while people clapping for you is nice she would rather feel safe at work and have a pay rise, the later not dependant on the current health crisis either!

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#6

I Prefer Money

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Colin L
Community Member
6 months ago

Agreed. Money where your mouth is folks: support hazard pay for essential workers.

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"Few employers (e.g., Cargill, Safeway) are providing better compensation but that also reflects a rapidly declining supply of labor (workers are getting sick) and employers enticing others to join the labor market," Dr. Ng explained. "Employers need to do more, such as providing the tools to perform these jobs safely. At the very least, they need to provide a pay premium ('hazard pay') when asking workers to perform work that can expose themselves to harm."

#7

Essentials-Workers-Jokes

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Colin L
Community Member
6 months ago

Want to know where the $1200 figure comes from? It's a months wages at minimum wage.

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#8

Essentials-Workers-Jokes

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Max Han
Community Member
6 months ago

This goes especially to the millionaires, billionaires, etc

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#9

They Are Still Heroes! Bless Them.

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Colin L
Community Member
6 months ago

I would love for the CEOs to be here exposing themselves with their essential workers. I wonder if wages would improve?

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We’ve all heard how these hard-working Pandas are being called heroes, but is that term being overused, especially when we look at how little they’re being paid for their efforts?

The fact is, “thank you’s” don’t pay the bills and being an everyday superhero doesn’t pay all that well. So a lot of essential employees have that in common with comic book superheroes!

Some essential employees are sick and tired of being complimented, celebrated, and hailed as heroes. Why? Because they don’t have any choice: they work their low-paying jobs because they need them to survive.

#10

Heroes, Just Like The First Responders

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
6 months ago

And Imagine Captain Chaos sitting on the stern tweeting : "If we are sinking why am I 150 feet above the see? Fake media. Not good. Enemy of the people. Immigrants are playing sad music. No one here plays sad music. Only they do. "

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#11

#essentialworkermeme

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Abby
Community Member
6 months ago

This is exactly what's happening to my mom! She works in a hospital and they keep changing policies. Somehow a nap policy got added and they recommend doctors and nurses to take a 20 minute nap during their shift. They said you could only have one mask until it got wet or destroyed so people started using homemade masks. Then they said take as many masks as you want. Then they banned cloth (homemade) masks. There have been a bunch of other policy changes too. Some have been good like for units dealing with coronavirus there are pay raises available. There have been so many policy changes and my mom is pretty stressed

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#12

Essential Worker

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N G
Community Member
6 months ago

I'm with Tinky winky, without beer and crisps, society would collapse

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For instance, Nelson Santiago quit his job at Wendy’s in Waco, Texas, when he felt “disrespected and humiliated.” He and his coworkers received a bag of candy from Wendy’s corporate HQ, but Santiago was making 8.50 dollars an hour: he didn’t want candy—he wanted hazard pay and safe working conditions.

“For them to say a simple thank-you while they sit in the comfort of their homes with their families protected and reaping the benefits of these chains still being open—it is insulting," Santiago told Business Insider.

#13

Essentials-Workers-Jokes

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Wottermehlon Doge
Community Member
6 months ago

One of my real good friend's parents are both doctors. Both of them have made wills and other paperwork because they are entirely unsure if they are going to make it through this

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#14

Unsung Heroes

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visvalin Vamadevan
Community Member
6 months ago

Society before and after is the above Image flipped.

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#15

Hang In There, Essential Workers

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Colin L
Community Member
6 months ago

This is why unions are important. Here in Washington state Kroger (which also owns QFC, Fred Meyer's, and others) has refused to raise wages for essential workers. But the bus union has gotten better wages and requires passengers to wear masks.

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Meanwhile, a Taco Bell manager told Business Insider that he was working up to 65 hours per week for no additional pay because some of his coworkers quit due to their hours being cut.

If we call somebody a hero, we should make sure they’re being treated like one, don’t you think? Luckily, some powerful people think so, too. US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is proposing legislation that frontline heroes get up to 25k dollars as part of a financial crisis-rescue package.

#16

It Do Be That That These Days

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Bob Beltcher
Community Member
6 months ago

Its not as fun as it seems. I've been working from home for a month now, it sucks and it's frustrating. As an auditor I have to rely on the people I'm auditing to upload stuff, otherwise, I have no work. Then my boss wants to know why I have no work. Then I have to call muktiple times a day asking when they're uploading work. I know it's not as bad as what other are going through but it still sucks.

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#17

Essentials-Workers-Jokes

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Unhuman_Weirdo
Community Member
6 months ago

Plot twist the rich looking guy isn’t the essential worker

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#18

We Can Get Through This

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Jemima Muneer
Community Member
6 months ago

you wont get away with this

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#19

Essentials-Workers-Jokes

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Consequential_mishaps
Community Member
6 months ago

"Essential". Call them exactly how their employers see them, expendable. You don't pay them enough so they have to risk their lives for minimum wage but hey at least in the uk we all clapped for them at the same time, maybe they can pay their bills with that.

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#20

Essential Workers Gang Rise Up

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Dilly Millandry
Community Member
6 months ago

What would people need to go in for in the 'once every two weeks' scenario? Genuinely curious.

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#21

Essentials-Workers-Jokes

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Colin L
Community Member
6 months ago

We're looking at you Kroger.

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See Also on Bored Panda
#22

I Made Myself A Sticker

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Jack Chandra
Community Member
6 months ago

They drive a Mercedes. They're getting paid. I've much more sympathy for minimum wage cashiers who have 100+ people standing in front of them every day.

Seabeast
Community Member
6 months ago

Could be a doctor. Yes, they're getting paid, but that's not much consolation if they get sick and die because a patient infected them.

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earringnut
Community Member
6 months ago

Why do I have the feeling that this person isn't an essential employee?

KellyO
Community Member
6 months ago

want...to....buy. how?

William McGivney
Community Member
6 months ago

Ah, I get it. Irony 🙄

BG
Community Member
6 months ago

KBB value for that vehicle is approximately $10,000.

Pauline Treacy
Community Member
6 months ago

theres an idea think it will work for parking tickets?

Don Flynn
Community Member
6 months ago

this one is the best

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#23

I Prefer The Real Heroes

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Colin L
Community Member
6 months ago

I'm teaching remotely, and some of my students are essential. I'm doing everything I can to accommodate them.

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#24

Essentials-Workers-Jokes

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Mona Khadra
Community Member
6 months ago

Me

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#25

From The Dark... We Became Heroes

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Chris Jones
Community Member
6 months ago

Many delivery drivers have increased targets for delivery numbers as people are ordering more and the companies attitudes are 'oh well, the roads are empty so you'll get round faster'. Don't think it's been made easier for them at all.

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#26

Essential Workers Be Like

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kay
Community Member
6 months ago

True

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#27

#essentialworkers #corona #coronavirus #covid19 #quarantinememes #stayhome #nca

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Bob Beltcher
Community Member
6 months ago

Not society, government.

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#28

Essentials-Workers-Jokes

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#29

The Essential Workers Trifecta

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Luna Lovegood
Community Member
6 months ago

HOW is this an "essential" job?!

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#30

Talk To Me Nice .
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#coronavirusiscoming #corona #coronavirus #selfquarantine #socialdistancing #stayhome #memes #fliptheswitch #ny #nyc #raulsalghul #raulhudson #cosplay #waifu #ahegao #cuomoforpresident #essential #nonessential

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qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnm
Community Member
6 months ago

?

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Note: this post originally had 48 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.