Not everyone gets to quarantine. Not everyone has a WFH job.
Some people are running the “essential” stores that people come to every day to browse idly because “everywhere else is closed!” Some people are throwing up stock of bleach and TP and canned food only to turn around and see the stock has vanished behind them.
Some people are stuck working for companies with no paid sick leave, or they are offered paid sick leave… if you get diagnosed with covid-19. And none of us can even get tested in most states even if we show symptoms due to the draconian guidelines on who gets a test.
Some of us are immunocompromised or live with elderly family and are fucking terrified of carrying covid home with us.
Some of us are “lucky” and are getting increased wages during this period. But it’s up in the air if that makes this shit worth it, and most of us don’t get that.
Regardless, I want to establish one thing: No one who works retail asked to be “essential” services. And none of us were trained for this and none of us are being paid enough for this.
Personally, I have enjoyed my job up until covid happened because I’m an incredibly anxious person, and my store was a quiet one, and I was good at my job. It was a calm environment to work in, and I was happy to find it.
Now, I’m having repeated crying jags in the stock room and looking up how to qualify for unemployment and not seeing a way out. I handle the money for the store deposit almost every night, and I intimately know my store is making at minimum 4x usual profit and some days 6x or 7x more.
My point in this post is that I know I’m not alone. I have two friends in similar straits who are also on the verge of breaking down. We can’t sustain this.
The rallying cry of “paid sick leave” doesn’t mean shit if it comes with the caveat that you have to test positive for a virus you can’t get tested for. And while I am trying very hard to be sympathetic to the people who are isolating, who are lonely, who are struggling, I feel like “essential” workers are being thrown in the woodchipper.
And it becomes very hard to hold onto that sympathy when people just! come into our stores! to walk around! Maybe if fewer people did that, maybe if my store stopped making astronomical amounts of money, we’d close for a few days. But nope.
Please start yelling loudly for hazard pay for essential workers. Please start yelling for testing for everyone so we can fucking go home. Please stop talking about how “brave” we are and help us.
That’s all. This is a thread for my fellow low wage workers who woke up one day and found out they’re essential staff, retail or EMTs or gas station workers or whoever you are. This is bullshit and we’re tired and we need help. Before we all burn out.