May 27, 2020
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The word essential has seemed to develop two different definitions. Before the Coronavirus hit when you heard the world essential you most likely thought about necessary items such as food, water, shelter, clothes, etc. However, during this pandemic brought to us by the Coronavirus, the word essential has become more meaningful to us. I’m sure that most of us know someone who is considered an essential employee during this shut down. If not, we have a pretty good idea who those people are. Therefore, I talked to a couple people who are considered essential employees to get their take on this pandemic experience.

First, I talked with my cousin who is a nurse at a doctor’s office. She said, “Everyday in the office is different and I never know what to expect anymore.” She went on to say that it has been so hectic going into work every day because there will be something new that has been discovered about the virus and therefore, they have to once again change up their normal daily procedures.

At first the office tried to stager patient visits, so that not so many people are in the office at one time. While doing this they also spread the chairs in the waiting room out to be six feet apart from one another. Another big change for their office, later on, was to do as much online visits as possible. She said that this is not near as effective because if the doctor can’t see you in person, it’s hard for them to make a clear diagnosis. However, that has lowered the amount of people in their office and therefore, hopefully lowering the spread of the virus. My cousin also has a three-year old son. With the overall hectic work environment that she has to adapt to every day, she also gets to worry about whether or not she’s becoming a carrier and bringing it home to her son.

Secondly, I talked with a friend of mine who works part-time at a grocery store. I asked him, “What has work been like since the Coronavirus hit.” His reply was, “Hell; that’s the word that comes to mind.” He goes onto say, “It’s almost like the day before Thanksgiving every day but worse.” He went onto say that the grocery store tried to mandate how many people were in the store at one time by having some people wait outside. He said that was pointless because there was literally just a big group of people all huddled up next to one another waiting to come inside. So, that most likely only speeded up the spread of the virus. He went on to say that it has been pure chaos the past couple months and hopes that it will go back to normal soon.

If you are blessed enough to be able to stay in quarantine during this time, please do so. Don’t feel like you are invincible. Think about employees who are considered essential during this time and their well-being. Only go to places that you absolutely have to go to! Our essential employees are the ones keeping this country going right now. They are scared, they are exhausted, and they want the pandemic to be over as much as you do. If you know an essential employee send them a word of encouragement and thank them for what they do!

Emma White

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