Being an Essential Worker during a Global Pandemic 

By: Courtney Arp

As someone who works in fast food, I’ve never thought my job would be considered essential. My experiences throughout quarantine have been a little odd since we don’t go to school anymore and nothing is the same as it was, only a few months ago. Those changes have especially been noticeable when it comes to work and school. Keeping up with both can get a little stressful, but it’s worth it.

Everything at work has been different since new guidelines have been enforced. Now, we must socially distance, wear a mask and gloves all times, and follow all the rules the business is given. It’s definitely a huge change, especially for people who go to work every single day. Some workplaces have even started taking the employee’s temperatures before they clock in and ask questions such as “are you sick?” and “do you feel sick?” If they answer yes to any of the questions are asked, they have to be sent home.

When quarantine began and customers no longer were permitted to dine in at restaurants, we weren’t sure of what to expect at the fast food restaurant where I work. Days at work have gotten a lot busier and no one was expecting it to be so busy, so not as much food was prepared and we often ran out. It has been so busy that people have had to work double shifts because some people don’t want to take the risk of getting sick at work. Only a few people at a time are allowed in the restaurant and there aren’t enough workers to keep things running smoothly.

The pandemic has changed many of our procedures at work. Some precautions we have to take at work are constantly washing our hands, changing our gloves, and not having as much contact with customers as we normally would. Luckily, customers are very understanding, which makes being there a lot better and much less stressful. Balancing work and school is hard sometimes and can definitely get a little stressful, but managing time is key.

If you’re bored after school ends and you need money, try applying at small business restaurants and fast food restaurants to help them out, as they’ll probably really appreciate it. If restaurants aren’t your thing, you can try bigger stores like Walmart, Lowe’s, etc. For more information on what businesses are essential and details on what rules you will have to follow while working during the pandemic, go to http://www.cdc.org for more information. or another credible source, like the Pennsylvania Department of Health website, http://www.health.pa.gov.

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