Working Through the Virus

Editor Alayna Reddick works at Publix.

Many+students%2C+like+myself%2C+have+been+working+through+the+virus.+It+seems+like+an+additional+challenge+to+the+already+challenging+circumstances.

Alayna Reddick

Many students, like myself, have been working through the virus. It seems like an additional challenge to the already challenging circumstances.

Alayna Reddick, Editor

My quarantine experience has been defined as a weird cross between social distancing and work. As someone who works at a grocery store, it is often hard to practice social distancing to the full extent that a cautious person, like myself, would typically like to. Working in a job deemed essential means doubled work hours, second guessing every sneeze, and cracking hands that cannot take another pump of hand sanitizer. 

I have worked at my job for almost three years, experiencing countless hurricane panics and the annual migration of “snowbirds.” However, never did I ever experience the level of panic and fear that came with the discovery and spread of COVID-19. When a hurricane is announced, there is a sure end to the madness that surrounds it. If a minor hurricane hits Saturday and Sunday, by Monday the world is able to return back to normal. With COVID-19, no one knows when the end will arrive, leading to a continued flow of panic.

COVID-19 has led to a variety of change in my work and home life. While high school classes are turned to remote learning and work has replaced those free hours, I hardly find myself quarantined for my safety as I should be. Previously working exclusively as a cashier, I now work partly as a grocery clerk, fighting to keep stock of desired items on the shelf for more than thirty minutes. That part of my job is exhausting, and has taken a toll on me physically. While I may receive some rude comments and complaints about the lack of organization and items on the shelves, I also receive appreciation, which makes doing my job easier. 

Part of the changes in my life have also included trying to keep myself and my family safe. Everyday when I get home from work, I take off my shoes in the garage, throw my uniform in the washing machine, and take a shower. This has become a new part of my routine that portrays how my life has changed. Rather than going to football games and prom dress shopping, I am working and worrying about the germs on my clothes. 

So no, I don’t know when paper products are getting delivered, but trust me, no one wants to see them on the shelf more than myself. When the day comes that toilet paper and hand sanitizer stays on the shelf for more than thirty minutes, I will know my life is back to normal.

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