Enter your number to get our free mobile app

They've been front and center as we've been battling the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and now Starbucks is providing free coffee to healthcare workers this month here in Rochester and across the country.

Freebies are always a good thing. And when it's a freebie that involves the many frontline healthcare workers on the frontlines here in southeast Minnesota, that's an even BETTER thing. And that fact that this freebie contains caffeine can't be bad, either, can it?

Well, that's the case from the giant coffee chain, Starbucks, which announced yesterday that they will be giving away free cups of coffee to health care workers and first responders who have been working on the frontlines here in Minnesota and across the country during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

According to this CNN Bussiness story, the special is being offered throughout the month of December: 'It has been an extraordinarily difficult year, especially for the front-line responders who are serving our communities,' Virginia Tenpenny, Starbucks vice president for global social impact, said in a news release in the story.

'We want to show our deep gratitude for those who support and protect us every day with a small gesture of kindness and a cup of coffee...'

The story also said the free offer applies to other hospital staff, like janitors and security, mental health workers and active-duty military, as well. To get the free java, the story said you just need to stop at any Starbucks location here in the U.S. and identify yourself as a frontline responder to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

This isn't the first time the Seattle-based coffee chain has offered up a well-deserved reward for frontline workers, either. CBS News noted in this story that Starbucks offered a similar thank-you back in the early spring, where they gave away nearly 2-million cups of coffee. The story also said they're making a $100,00 donation to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

And while many of us are suffering from COVID fatigue, it's no surprise, given that we've been dealing with the pandemic for nearly 9 months already. It seems so innocent to think back to the holidays last year when we freely got together with family and friends with no idea what was to come only two months later. Keep scrolling to check out a timeline of just how the coronavirus outbreak came to impact all of our lives-- in a short amount of time.

Listen to Curt St. John from 6 to 10 a.m. on Quick Country 96.5
and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on 103.9 The Doc

From Wuhan to New York City: A Timeline of COVID-19's Spread