Protect the Grocery Workers
Protect the Grocery Workers
During the Covid-19 pandemic, essential workers are most at risk as they must interact directly with the public.
On March 26th, the United States surpassed China with the highest number of Coronavirus cases worldwide. Our country has not been able to meet widespread testing recommendations of scientists and hasn’t nearly met the testing benchmarks it needs to meet for people to be safe while exposed to the public in this way. The United States is barely doing 200,000 tests per day. It is suggested that we need to be doing 500,000-35 million tests per day in order to safely open businesses to the public.
Until we have widespread testing and safety measures, we need to protect the grocery workers. We need to move grocery shopping online and through telephone orders for curbside pick up only.
In this way, these essential workers could maintain true physical distance. Truckers deliver food. It is unloaded, inventory can be taken, grocery workers can take telephone & internet orders, organize the food in crates and separate workers can deliver to trunks of cars in the parking lot to customers who have scheduled their pick up time.
There could be a curbside help desk to assist mask wearing customers with special circumstances who cannot order groceries in this way such as lack of internet or phone, or any payment concerns. Perhaps there could even be certain hours for people in need to accept any food that would otherwise be wasted. This would protect grocery workers and solve many issues regarding supply and demand.
It is unfair and irresponsible to allow the public to shop indoors at this time. We have the highest numbers of corona virus in the world and we have lost more people to this virus than in the Vietnam war.
The mask disputes are also becoming dangerous. Too many people disregard the mask rules and remove their mask inside while shopping. In Michigan, a security guard and father to 9 children was killed over a mask dispute at a Family Dollar Store for asking a customer to wear a mask. One grocery worker reported having been pepper sprayed by a customer, another was threatened with a firearm due to customer panic and conflict over masks. Some stores have lightened face covering restrictions as a result, which only further endangers grocery workers.
In a survey of more than 5,000 grocery workers in the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, 96 percent of workers fear they’ll contract the coronavirus during a shift. 85 percent said customers aren’t practicing physical distancing in stores, 81 percent said customers are hoarding groceries and 62 percent say they have been blamed for supply shortages.
In a report by the Washington Post, at least 41 grocery workers have died from novel coronavirus and another 1,500 have tested positive. According to ZipRecruiter, there has been a 60 percent increase in job postings for grocery workers.
Let’s hire more grocery workers in a responsible manner by allowing them to work in a safe environment free from the public. Community spread and lack of testing leave us little other responsible options until these problems are solved.
Too many grocery workers have fallen.
Please insist we protect our grocery workers.