With the quarantine in effect, many aspects of everyday life have changed, including in the workplace. Most people have stopped working altogether due to business shutdowns.
However, “essential” businesses (places that provide food or hardware) must remain open during the current pandemic. There are students at Dana who are employed at these essential businesses, so THE PAPER interviewed a couple of them to see what working during this strange time is like.
Senior Will Riveire is a cashier at the restaurant China Moon. He explained that his workplace has undergone some extreme changes in order to adapt to the pandemic. Customers are only allowed to order for pickup, and only two customers at once are allowed into the restaurant to pick up food.
The remaining employees also have to wear masks and gloves; Riveire said all the protection makes him “feel like we’re about to operate on someone, but we’re just giving people their food.”
He also noted that a portion of the staff was cut as there is no longer a need for waiters, highlighting a very concerning and difficult impact of the pandemic: the sudden rise in unemployment.
Senior Nick Degraw is another Dana student who is currently working as a cashier at DeNault’s Ace Hardware. Similar to Riveire, Degraw noted that the staff has upped their cleaning and safety standards, wearing gloves and masks.
Most of the customers are taking precautions as well, with “over half wearing at least gloves” and about a fourth wearing masks.
He also mentioned that the store has actually become more busy with the quarantine in effect, explaining: “people don’t have anything else to do but shop at essential stores and work on home projects that they’ve put off.”
When asked if there was a change in the mood at the store, Degraw said that some customers also seem much more on edge because of the situation. They appear uneasy and anxious while at the store.
THE PAPER salutes these students who continue to work during the pandemic. Their hard work and dedication amidst these tough times is nothing short of amazing.
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