We’re in the middle of the war. If there was any doubt before, there should be none now.


Sometimes, people in our society trivialize the word “war” by applying it to problems that really don’t rise to that level. Think: “The war on Christmas,” “the war on tooth decay” or any number of other conflicts, some serious and some extremely minor, that somehow sound scarier and more important if they are compared to a state of war.


Well, the people who are describing our collective fight against the coronavirus as a war aren’t exaggerating this time. With no clear end in sight, this war already has led to thousands of casualties worldwide and altered the way we live our daily lives.


In the last half century, even the guns-and-bullets wars our country has fought haven’t had such a profound impact on most of our population. If you serve in the military or know someone who does, conflicts in places like Iraq or Afghanistan are all too real.


But for many of us, those conflicts seem like someone else’s problem. They might make good television for a few days, then we tend to tune them out and focus on concerns that are closer to home.


There’s no tuning out the coronavirus, though. It’s with us, whether we try to change the channel or not.


Unlike other wars, it’s hard to put a face on the enemy. We’re not being attacked by another country or even a group of terrorists who share a common ideology, but by organisms that aren’t even visible to the naked eye.


The soldiers we’re sending into battle are, for the most part, faceless, too. We might learn a few of their names, but most of them are out their fighting every day with no expectation of glory or even public recognition.


These include the people on the front lines ― the doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers and other medical service providers who are dealing directly with people who have come into contact with the virus.


But there are other warriors who also are playing critical roles. Be honest: Before all this started, how often did you think about the people who keep the shelves stocked or handle the registers at your local grocery store? Or the people who drive the trucks that deliver food and other supplies to the stores? Or the people who work in the factories that produce all of those goods?


We’re starting to realize how much we depend on those people, some of whom we’ll never meet.


There also is an unseen army of people out there performing essential tasks that we often take for granted, such as picking up our garbage and providing home health care to senior citizens and people with disabilities.


Other people have found other ways to support the cause, such as sewing surgical masks or providing counseling to people who are having trouble coping with the changes we’re going through.


Maybe when this is over, there won’t be anyone handing out medals or commendations to those who served honorably, some of whom have even put their health, as well as the health of their families and friends, at risk to do their jobs.


Or maybe there will be. Either way, we should keep in mind the contributions these faceless soldiers are making not only in this difficult time, but always.