Clay is a gardener for San Francisco Recreation and Parks. "We're all working in my department," he said. "We need to keep the city safe and looking pretty through all this."

Under the order issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom on March 19, seeking to control the spread of coronavirus, workers in non-essential businesses across the state have been ordered to stay home. Since then, we have all felt the eerie calm descend on our streets. But businesses and agencies deemed critical remain open, including those that provide food, medicine, transportation and other basic services. For workers in these fields, the simple act of coming to work has become a heroic act that carries the danger of exposure to the virus. These people put themselves at risk to keep our society running.