“It’s New York,” Kenneth Mendez mentioned. “You gotta keep on moving.”
This report is part of “America Strong,” an Eyewitness News and ABC News collection highlighting tales of energy and resiliency throughout the nation.
During the peak of the pandemic, folks like him stored the town going for docs, nurses, and others who could not keep residence.
“During the daytime, you would see the hospital workers and all the necessary people that had to be out here doing their jobs,” he mentioned. “So while everyone was at home, we were still here trying to make sure everything was good to go.”
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Mendez has been with the MTA for 22 years, however 2020 was a 12 months like no different.
Despite the uncertainty of COVID-19, he nonetheless went to work and made certain to take additional precautions when he went residence.
“I would go home, and my kids would be like, ‘Hey daddy,’ and they would want to come and touch me,” he mentioned. “And I’d say, ‘Just stay away. Let me, you know, undress, take a shower, and make sure everything’s OK.'”
Jobs like his are sometimes missed, however the appreciation from fellow New Yorkers through the ticker tape parade was one thing that may by no means be forgotten
“That was awesome,” he mentioned. “I mean, I couldn’t believe it. We was in the float, and as we were going down, people were screaming. They were saying, ‘Go MTA, thank you for your service.’ It was awesome.”
Mendez was additionally one of many first within the MTA to get vaccinated, and he encourages others to do the identical
“Go get your shot,” he mentioned. “We still don’t know what’s going on out here, but it’s better to have something than to have nothing at all.”
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For Mendez, it is not simply work. It’s additionally about leaving an enduring legacy for his three daughters.
“I try to teach them that you have to have a good work mentality,” he mentioned. “You got to make sure that you come to work, do your job, and make sure you do the right thing.”
“America Strong” is a multiplatform reporting series showcasing the energy and resilience of the nation. As Americans proceed to confront extraordinary challenges introduced on by the pandemic and excessive climate occasions, ABC News and Eyewitness News will profile neighbors serving to group members in want and people discovering new energy from inside.
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