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What it’s like being an Essential Worker During a Pandemic

Phoebe Cates

Essential workers are risking their lives every day by going to work every morning and have played an enormous role in carrying out what sense of normalcy we have left. 

Malls, churches, parks and local businesses continue to stay closed as Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay home order has been extended. 

While those may be closed during this time other places have been left open with social distancing restrictions set in places such as grocery stores, retirement homes, marijuana stores, banks, and restaurants limiting them to takeout or pick up. Leaving those who work in these industries with the title of essential workers.

Logan Stephens, who is a courtesy clerk, works the front end bagging groceries at the end of the check lane at Fred Meyers. “Yeah to a certain extent, I think any job that is still operating during all this could be considered important, especially ones where you’re interacting with the public,” he said.

Phoebe Cates, a medical aid at the Bonaventure of Vancouver, a retirement home said, “Yes because our seniors need workers like us to get taken care of no matter what. Plus their family is counting on us.”

Some feel a sense of nervousness while they work but don’t fear they are going to catch the virus.

Cates’ work had two cases of COVID-19. Said she is worried, but at the same time not because it’s her job to take care of them and has every protective equipment that she needs to go into the room. 

Stephens said he wouldn’t describe the feeling as nervous, but more cautious while being very much more aware and constantly thinking of the whole situation.

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