General Question

Jonsblond's avatar

Are you still working because you are considered an essential worker?

Asked by Jonsblond (5956points) March 25th, 2020 from iPhone

I’d like to hear from those who leave their home because they are considered essential.

Do you get easily stressed? Do you worry about bringing the virus home to your loved ones? How do you handle your stress or anxiety?

I never signed up to be some hero in a grocery store. I often get panic attacks when a group of more than three people come near me. I’m having a hard time to be honest.

Please tell me your story and how you cope.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

54 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

I don’t worry much about contracting the virus

Jonsblond's avatar

^That’s good for you. Both my youngest son and I have a history of lung problems. We have a reason to worry.

johnpowell's avatar

Think before you hit that “Answer!” button Stanely.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I’m having trouble finishing that last post. 3 times in the attempt, I’ve been swept from the site and compelled to log back in. The time finally expired for editing my way back in. I don’t worry much about contracting the disease as much as I’m concerned about spreading it. So it’s been trips to the supermarket and a day of babysitting and that’s pretty much it. The wife has a cold (we hope). I grabbed a 23 pound turkey on my first trip to the supermarket about a week ago and it took 2 days to defrost. It went in the oven Friday afternoon. We stuffed ourselves on turkey, stove top stuffing & mashed potatoes. And some wonderful roasted asparagus. The wife sectioned up the leftover turkey & I vacuum packed half the leftovers with the foodsaver, while she broke up the carcass & threw it and the pan juices gizzard , neck and scraps in her huge stew pot to build a broth. Sunday morning I took probably a quarter of the turkey to our friend who is definitely a shut in at great risk, and stopped at the supermarket—no bread! My dreams of turkey sandwiches dashed. But let me tell you what I found in the meat cooler! There were 9–10 of these 5 packs of thick cut beautiful USDA choice New York steaks at prices of 18–20 dollars a pack. I stood there dumbfounded examining the labels trying to find the scam. The label on the pkg I picked indicated that the meat had been packed and labeled that very morning and was supposed to sell for $56. Then “your price $19.85.” I rushed home to show off to the wife who is the champion griller at our house, and waited for the examination then explanation as to how I had somehow been taken. She said “maybe they weren’t cut right”. I have no idea what that means, but in the morning I must risk the bank and supermarket for bread. And if they’re giving away steaks—I’M READY.

Jonsblond's avatar

First responders sign up for this. Grocery workers don’t. I’m hoping to learn how those who need to help the public cope with their own fears.

stanleybmanly's avatar

If you’re truly afraid, you should stay home (if you can afford it). I don’t think there’s any shame in turning from terror. I still believe that it’s going to be next to impossible to avoid contact with the virus. It will be good when the tests are finally available.

johnpowell's avatar

Can’t help with that.. But you are a hero. I admire you doing what you do.. And I do realize you are getting paid and you wouldn’t be there without a paycheck. But you are still risking your bacon so I can eat hash browns.

I’m normally a grounded dude. 9/11, not a huge deal. But this one is really freaking me the fuck out. I feel/know I am minutes away from friends dying.

I will be fine. I have tons of TP/food/guns/ammo. Somehow covid made a gun safe appear next to our fridge. Life is getting weird.

edit:: My sister is not a hoarder. She makes good money finding gems at thrift shops and then selling the stuff to hipsters for a 300% markup.

Jonsblond's avatar

Thank you.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I’m getting bored with tv. I think in the morning after shopping, I’m going to attempt to bake an orange cake and a lemon cake or combine them for a 4 layer cake, then cover it with cream cheese frosting and bury it in chopped pecans. What do you folks think? Too ambitious? Maybe cupcakes would be the better deal.

Jonsblond's avatar

My husband is still working as well for a global company. They make pumps for mining.

Three workers were told to go home today because they are sick. They are going to be tested. We have community spread in our city.

I wish my only worry was cake.

johnpowell's avatar

Part of me thinks we will learn to appreciate the healthcare workers, the truck drivers, Burger King, the unknown dudes in the sewage treatment plants, and all those people that keep our shit moving.

Unsung hero’s. But we will vilify them the second they want a union.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Agreed. The infrastructure people are the key to avoiding insanity

Jonsblond's avatar

It’s a wake up call that most of us will learn from @johnpowell.

Lightlyseared's avatar

I am still working. Have received a crash course in ITU nursing and am now developing a pressure sore on the bridge my nose.

marinelife's avatar

No, but because you have made me more conscious of it, I thanked all the grocery store employees when I was shopping during the special senior time today at 6 A.M.

hmmmmmm's avatar

My wife works as maternity nurse in one hospital and a lactation consultant in another. She tries to be very careful about washing hands/showering as soon as she gets home, but we’re well aware that we’re all exposed due to her job. She’s not too concerned (yet), however, because this is not an ER and she’s not (currently) dealing with sick patients.

jca2's avatar

Full time union rep, working from home for the past four work days.

My work phone is forwarded to my cell phone and I can log on to the work computer through the home computer.

cookieman's avatar

I am still working, but because I am in education, teaching online. Not essential and not in person.

Folks in food service, such as you, deserve WAY more credit and support.

jca2's avatar

One of our union members wrote on his FB page some type of complaint about CVS employees getting a bonus while we don’t. I don’t respond to posts like that but my two thoughts were 1. we work under a contract and so there’s that and 2. CVS employees and other store employees make about 14 dollars an hour, minimum wage here in NY. Us government workers who are union members make about 60k a year, minimum so it’s a bit more than the average CVS employee.

rebbel's avatar

The place I worked at closed its doors right at the first days of the outbreak, here in the Netherlands.
We were part of a foundation that closed the 10th of March, due to financial mismanagement and safety issues.
Sadly my place had to close shop too.
I think I am lucky, but also without my job.

I thank you, and all people around the world that are now keeping it revolving.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

My husband still works.I asked him your questions and his answers were: No. No. I’m not stressed.
My sister is also still working and she does not seem stressed when I spoke to her last night.

kritiper's avatar

I am fairly essential, or so my customers may think. And I keep working because I’m always outside and by myself. And I need the money! I almost never see the customer face-to-face.
(I go to people’s houses and clean up after their dogs.)

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I am, I’m a field engineer at a utility. I can do paperwork from home but we still have major projects going on and I often have to be onsite working with others. My wife has been laid off and home for a couple weeks now. She wants to spray me down with Lysol every time I come home. They try to limit our exposure but at times I’ll find myself in a room with like 10 people. None of us want to work in such a close proximity so there are a lot of jobs being passed around like a hot potato. Once all the current work is wrapped up I hear they won’t be starting much if anything new till this passes. We are also hearing that we could be sequestered meaning they’ll be asking us to split up into 14 day shifts and we will live at work. I’m not sure how they’re going to make that happen since we’ll still have to travel from site to site. My stress level is high as we have to get things in a place where it can stay for an extended period of time, have been told very little about the long-term plans and all of us just want to go home and stay there so we don’t spread this virus to our families. I worry about many of the older workers too, this could easily kill some of them. About half the workforce is 50+

si3tech's avatar

@Jonsblond God Bless all workers working to serve America and around the world; from truckers to care givers and all in between! Their service is above and beyond! (Former nurse and pharmacy technician. (retired)

KNOWITALL's avatar

Working from home, media.

Caravanfan's avatar

I am an essential worker. To deal with the stress I try to go out for walks and I meditate.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I’m self-employed and essential in some work that I do (caring for seniors at home), so I’m missing a huge chunk of work without any pay compensation available and the other work I can do puts me in a position to potentially pass this illness onto the people who need protected the most, so I am sick with worry that I’ll unknowingly pass this virus onto someone vulnerable.

Both of my sisters have health risks (I do, as well), but they’re way more exposed than I am. One working in a high volume fast food place and the other doing triage in a medical clinic. I am heartbroken for people working in grocery stores and Walmarts because I know most of those people couldn’t stay home even if they want to and you’re clearly taking the brunt of the hits from this outside of medical/hospital settings. It’s so messed up. I wish people would reevaluate priorities in all of this and see where the real backbone of our society is.

As for coping, I try to focus on what I can control. I can only do what I know how to do to minimize the risk of getting sick, which IS effective. It is not a guarantee, but it does improve your chances. Also, I remind myself that there’s a good chance I will get sick (most of us will eventually) and that the overwhelming majority will survive, hopefully with minimal complications. I say this as a person who has been hospitalized with pneumonia in the past, so I am not taking it lightly because… well, fuck that, it sucked. I don’t want this virus. I don’t want to give anyone this virus, but there is only so much I can do about that and I’m doing all that I can. Worrying beyond that is only causing me more distress, so I’m trying to just accept that the odds are still in our favor at this time because even in the worst case scenario, I will be able to access a hospital with ICU beds because of other people who are able to stay home. Thank you, to those of you who are isolating if you’re able, and thank you to those of you who are providing services to the rest of us at the risk of your own health. You deserve so so much better than what you get.

seawulf575's avatar

Apparently delivering booze is considered an essential thing. so yes, I go to work every day. No, I’m not particularly stressed about Covid-19. Will I get it? Possibly. And if I do, I’ll isolate myself from my family. In the meantime, I wear my gloves most of the time and I shower as soon as I get home. I refuse to live my life in fear of a virus that probably won’t hurt me anyway…no lasting harm, anyway.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@seawulf575 I would like to assure you that delivering booze is essential. It is basically what is keeping the health workers going right now.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Honestly, I have seen a lot of joking about liquor stores being considered essential, but if we consider how many people use alcohol to cope with stress and anxiety I think abruptly depriving the public of that could be disastrous.

JLeslie's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf The Mayor in NOLA after Katrina made mention that part of what was adding to the nightmare was people withdrawing off of drugs. He didn’t mean coping with stress, he was talking about real withdrawal and people sick and acting out and desperate.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@JLeslie I think that’s a real concern for a lot of people. I am seeing people I know who are homeless going to desperate measures to attain some kind of safety in this. I’m also concerned for the people I know who are in the grips of addiction, it’s not good for anyone to allow people to get so desperate that they’ll do anything. Because people will.

SergeantQueen's avatar

Yes, I am still working.
I worry about the residents, feel really bad that they are alone. I called in sick on Saturday because I had a cold (which I’m getting over now). I am not stressed. I just want them to stay safe.

@ANef_is_Enuf I was thinking about that yesterday. I was wondering why liquor stores were open and then I remembered people who are alcoholics and how dangerous it can be for them to go without. Some people get themselves to the point where they have to drink and without proper help (rehab, etc) they could die if they stop. It’s sad.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@SergeantQueen I was thinking about this the other day. The number of deaths from alcoholics who could no longer buy their booze could be quite large.

canidmajor's avatar

There is another side to the liquor-availability-ranked-as-essential thing, but I don’t suppose we’ll ever see the stats on alcohol+stress+domestic-abuse casualties.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor My governor mentioned domestic abuse and other related problems during this time of increased stress and if there are shortages. He was referring to the need to keep commerce open and also people needing an income.

YARNLADY's avatar

My DIL is still working. Her desk is in a private office, answering the phone, so no contact with the general public. I drive her to work, but never get out of my car. I drive the boys to the free food pick up each day, again no one gets out of the car.
Sonny is still working, but his job has always been from home, providing tech help to computer users. Hubby is doing the same from home.

janbb's avatar

There is a scary downside to essential workers having to go to their place of work for sure but there is a plus side too. They are still able to make money while many non-essential workers like those in the restaurant field, hairdressers, art teachers have no income at all. I feel for all of them – those who must work and those who are out of work.

jca2's avatar

Today a friend told me her husband’s salary was cut by $200 per week. He works for an electrical supply company as the Comptroller. That’s over 9k per year lost. It makes me grateful for my government job and working under a union contract.

Lightlyseared's avatar

lAcohol withdrawal is the only drug withdrawal that can kill you. everything else is unpleasant but not actually lethal

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

If you are working to feed us, keep the lights on, pick up the garbage, keep the water running, and too many other functions to name – THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!!! Seriously.

Also, a thought about catching the virus. It is extremely likely that most of will get it eventually. Getting it early while the hospitals have capacity might be the best. And if you gain immunity (we don’t know yet if that is happening) then you will gain a superpower while the rest of us wait to get sick or get a vaccine in a year or two.

ucme's avatar

Being a locksmith, one could argue I could be considered a key worker, given the lockdown.
It’s an argument you’d lose though :D

MrGrimm888's avatar

Currently, non-essential. A blessing, and a curse…

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m still going to work. I work at a law firm and even though the courts are closed we still have statutory deadlines. Most stuff is being done remotely, but we still need to mail stuff and scan documents and such.

My firm is doing really great about only having 5 people in the office at a time and keeping us separated.

Yellowdog's avatar

Yes. I’m in the trenches of the pandemic.

chyna's avatar

@Yellowdog what trenches are you in?

Yellowdog's avatar

Working with tornado recovery efforts in Nashville, amid the COVID-19 crises.

Jonsblond's avatar

@Yellowdog I was just thinking how horrible it would be if we had a weather related tragedy while dealing with this virus. I forgot about Nashville.

Yellowdog's avatar

The COVID-19 virus really doesn’t change much. Just take precautions.

Today was as hot as shit. Not what I bargained for in March.

Lonelyheart807's avatar

I am so considered by my job, thank goodness! I work for a church as administrative assistant. The church is closed, but they still do online services and need the bulletin done and the monthly newsletter. They are letting me work from home.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther