Millions of people have unfortunately lost their jobs due to the pandemic. I have seen close friends and families struggle to stay afloat in this troubled time.
Essential worker have had to step up to the plate to make sure that world is still functioning. Gas station clerks, grocery store workers, restaurant workers, etc. have been working hard to provide the essentials of life for us and their families. We are constantly putting our lives at risk just by stepping foot outside our homes.
As you can imagine every hospital in the city off Chicago has been working 10x harder in the midst of this pandemic. So many precautions have been taken to make sure the safety of medical workers and patients is being provided. For example, limiting visitors, cancellation of non-urgent appointments, and providing checkpoints throughout hospitals to insure all employee temperatures are acceptable.
Although hospitals have been taking important measure to make sure their staff stays safe, I am still worried. Don’t get me wrong; I am extremely blessed to be one of the few that still has a job. I just think I have to risk so much just to get a paycheck. Social distancing does not exist when you are an essential worker. I think about gas station attendants, grocery story workers, and healthcare workers that come in constant contact with people all day. I have had to change my normal routine to keep my family and myself safe. I used to take public transportation every day to work, but I have had to limit myself to driving myself to work instead. Wearing gloves and masks has become a normal for me when I am in front of patients or even with my coworkers. When I come home from work, I get undress right at the front door and hop right in the shower before I go near my family or any place where I rest. I check my temperature at home and I monitor any signs of illness 24/7.
I am more than happy to take care of others because it is a passion of mine, but taking care of others during this time comes with so much more than personal satisfaction. Many people like me have been working over 12 hours seven days a week barely having time to sleep or enjoy life at home. I always hear and read about shortages of medical supplies and I am terrified for patients and workers that may be without the necessities to keep them safe. Every day I pray that we are moving closer to cures or something that flattens the curve just so we can keep providing the best healthcare.
I wanted to give awareness and provide insight on the life of an essential worker. Please pray for us and make sure you also stay healthy by staying home so we can continue to provide you with our services.
By Brittanie Sturdivant, Sophomore, Open Campus Parsons School of Design